Crash and Burn - Chapter 3: Ka pu'iwa

Wailana Coffee House, Waikiki, Honolulu, two months later

“What did I do, Cath?”

Catherine Rollins looked at the man sitting across from her, sipping a coffee instead of his usual beer. But it was just a little over ten a.m. A little early for a beer, even for a Navy boy.

“You didn’t do anything, Steve.” She looked down into her latte. “It’s just...I think we should stop seeing each other.”

Steve rubbed his face with his hands. It’s taken him an eternity to get her to return his calls, to convince her to meet him, and now this? “Just like that? After three years.” He shook his head. “No. There’s something else. What is it, Cath?”

“It’s nothing, really. We just grew apart. Want different things.” She finished her coffee and stood. “It’s been great while it lasted, but this is goodbye, Steve.” She almost choked while holding back tears, but she pulled through. “I hope we can remain friends. If at any time you need help with your investigations, you just need to ask. You know that.”

He remained seated, staring at her, uncomprehending. “Cath, wait. I really don’t understand—”

“Who’s Sabrina?”

Steve felt his heart stutter. “Excuse me?”

Catherine smiled sadly. “You should see your face, Steve.”

“How do you know about Sabrina?” he whispered.

“You talk to her in your sleep. You said her name the last time we—” She cleared her throat. “You never told me about her...”

He shook his head, blinking.

“...but she must’ve been important.” She wiped at her cheek. “I told you we wanted different things. I want you.” Another sad smile. “And you still want her. Goodbye, Steve.”

As she turned and lifted her hand to hail a cab, Steve finally shot up from his chair. “Cath, wait.” He grabbed her arm, turned her toward him. “Listen. Yeah, she was important. She—” He looked away. Back to her. “God, she was...It’s been five years, Cath. And it didn’t end well. I had no idea I spoke in my sleep. I’m so sorry, Cath, but, please, give me another chance.”

She was shaking her head, but he cupped her cheeks.

“I’ll tell you about it, I will, but not today. You just sprang this on me—”

“Steve, I—”

His phone rang and he cursed. “Sorry, I’m on duty, I have to take this.” He checked the caller ID. “Yeah, Chin.”

“It’s him again,” Chin Ho reported. “Outside the Roth crime scene. Kono went on to try and block him, Danny and I are in pursuit, but this guy’s fast.”

“Don’t lose him, Chin. Where are you?”

“Going west on Beretania.”

“Okay, call the HPD for backup, block him.”

“Will do, boss.”

“I’m on my way.” Steve pocketed his phone and looked at Catherine.

She nodded. “Go.”

He made a quick decision. “Come with me.”

“What?”

He took her arm, pulled her toward where he’s parked his pick-up. “We’ve been trying to get this guy for a month, and I really need to be there, but then, we have to talk.” He unlocked his truck and opened the passenger door for her. “And I don’t trust you not to bolt, so I’m taking you with me.”

“Steve, there’s—”

“Please, Cath.”

She sighed. “All right.”

“Thank you.”

As they were streaking toward downtown, she asked, “So what’s this about?”

“For a few weeks now there’s this guy on a bike that appears around our crime scenes. Sometimes he even follows us.” He took a hard left onto Kalakaua Avenue. “We first spotted him in front of the State Capitol the day the governor arrived. And he’s been hanging around there a bit too much lately. I don’t know who this guy is, but his appearing at crime scenes and around the governor’s, makes him a person of interest. We’ve been trying to get him before, but him being on a bike gives him an advantage. This is the first time he’s making it rather easy. Usually he appears in traffic, making it even more difficult to follow.”

His phone rang again and he put it on speaker. “Yeah, Danny.”

“You won’t believe this, Steve.”

“Danny, spare me the commentary.”

“This guy just stopped.”

“What?”

“He’s straddling his bike, pretty as you please, in front of the HQ.”

“The HQ. Our HQ?”

Danny sighed. “That’s what I said. We have him surrounded, but I don’t think that could stop him.”

“He’s there because he wants to be,” Catherine interjected.

“Is that Catherine?” Danny asked. “You’ve brought your girlfriend to a car chase.”

“It’s not technically a car chase, Danny. The other guy’s on a bike.”

“Semantics. Would you just get here?”

Steve floored it. “Be there in one.”




Five-0 Headquarters Building

“What’s you ETA?” Reena asked.

“I’ll be there in five minutes,” Marc’s voice sounded from the earpiece fitted into her helmet. “I’m glad you’ve finally decided to show yourself.”

“Yeah, I didn’t really have a choice, did I?” Reena chuckled. “I got an executive order from my superior.”

“I didn’t know you could follow orders so well.”

“Bite me, Marc.” She glanced in her rearview mirror to see a dark blue pickup truck stop at the curb behind her. “I have to go, the boss has arrived. Get your ass here.”

“Don’t shoot anyone,” was the last thing she heard, before she disconnected the call.

Steve McGarrett joined his partner, Detective Danny Williams, on her nine o’clock, while Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua pointed their guns at her from in front of her bike. McGarret lifted his gun. “Keep your hands where I can see them!”

She flashed a quick grin inside her helmet and slowly lifted her hands.

He wasn’t done. “Get off the bike! Nice and slow.”

Reena, her hands still level with her shoulders, slowly swung her right leg over the seat, and turned to face the two men.

Steve was expecting someone more robust to be riding the big bike, instead of a lithe, petite, nicely curved figure gracefully dismounting the black beast. “Danny,” he murmured.

“I saw it,” his partner murmured back. “Either that’s a really small guy—”

“That’s a woman,” Catherine supplied from behind them.

Steve shot her a glance over his shoulder. “Catherine, get back to the car.”

“Oh, relax, sailor. I don’t see any guns.”

The leather-clad figure cocked her head, still covered by the helmet, hands slightly twitching as if in question.

“Catherine,” Steve growled.

“You were the one who dragged me along, Steve.” Catherine huffed. “Now I’m here and I’m curious to see the owner of that gorgeous bike.”

Steve sighed. “Fine, but stay back.” He looked at his quarry. “You! Take off the helmet. Slowly.”

The biker nodded, slowly lifted her hands, unsnapped the helmet, and unhurriedly lifted it off.

One moment Steve was looking at his own reflection in the tinted visor, and the next he was staring into the gray eyes that haunted his dreams.

“Sabrina?”

She smiled, but it didn’t reach those serious, watchful eyes. “Hello, Steve.”

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