Crash and Burn - Chapter 6: Aloha kāua

When Steve entered the Five-0 task force office the next morning, later than his usual, he was greeted by deathly silence, and from behind glass doors, his teammates’ eyes following his every move. It didn’t take him long to understand the reason why.

Sabrina Logan sat in the chair in front of his desk, playing with a pen. She’s left her dominatrix getup at home this morning, opting for form-fitting jeans and a plain, light-green T-shirt, her bangs restrained by sunglasses pushed at the top of her head.

“What are you doing here, Sabrina?” he asked, suddenly extremely tired.

She flinched as if she hasn’t heard him, shot to her feet and turned. She looked uncomfortable, her expression conveying the message she’d rather be anywhere else but his office.

“I...” She huffed, rolled her eyes, squared her shoulders, and met his eyes. “I work here, it seems.”

“Sabrina, I’m not in the mood.”

“Neither am I, Steven,” she snapped. “But it is what it is. Last night, my—the governor appointed me the new member of your little task force. I gave the ‘I solemnly swear’ speech.” She pointed to the badge clipped to her waistband. “I have the badge. I’m waiting for paperwork to officially get my gun...You can call the governor and ask him.”

He kept his eyes shut, pinching the bridge of his nose. “How long?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why?”

She stuck her hands in her pockets. “He wants me to help you solve the case your father’s been working on.”

She could’ve dropped a grenade in his office and he would’ve been less surprised. His eyes snapped open. “What?”

Her lips curved, but her eyes remained focused. “He wants to get to the bottom of things. He wants to know how the previous governor was involved, why your family had been targeted...And he wants Wo Fat behind bars, if he can’t fry him.”

“And you’re supposed to be a fresh pair of eyes.” He smiled grimly. “Not to mention your contacts.”

“Exactly.”

Steve shook his head, rubbing the back of his neck as he processed everything. For all that he disliked the guy, he had to give the governor credit. Sabrina was one of the best when it came to solving puzzles. A great profiler, meticulous researcher...And she had contacts all over the world. Besides, she was as stubborn as they came. Once she started something, she’d leave no stone unturned. Pity, she couldn’t bring that tenacity into her relationships.

Before he could really start to kick himself for venturing into that particular minefield, she placed her hand lightly onto his arm.

“Steve,” Reena said softly. “We should talk. Can we go somewhere?”

For a moment, when he just looked at her, she thought he’d tell her to take her talk and shove it, but then he nodded.

“Sure, there’s someone you need to meet, anyway, if you’re going to work here.”




Waikiki, Honolulu

Sabrina stared at the Hawaiian giant in a bright blue T-shirt grin at her over the counter of his ice-cream stand.

“This is a new one, brah,” he said to Steve. “Beautiful, too.” He winked at her. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

She just blinked, taking in the expanse of him.

Steve grinned. “Kamekona, this is Sabrina. Sabrina, this is Kamekona, shaved ice stand owner, occasional informant, and constant pain in the ass.”

“You wound me, brah,” Kamekona said, the smile never leaving his face. Sabrina suspected the creases were permanently etched into his cheeks. “And don’t forget my new shrimp business. Nice to meet you, Sabrina. Would you like a T-shirt?”

She looked at Steve, but he just shrugged, still grinning. “Small, please?”

The giant shook his head. “XL or bigger. My face doesn’t fit otherwise.”

She didn’t need a tent at the moment. “I’ll pass, thanks.”

“Your loss, beautiful. What flavor?”

“Excuse me?”

“What flavor cone do you want?”

“Uhm, I don’t really—”

“You’ll offend him, if you don’t get a cone,” Steve murmured.

“Oh...Well, I’ll have the strawberry, thanks.”

“Mint for me, brah,” Steve said, pulling his wallet out of his back pocket.

She placed her hand onto his wrist. “The talk was my idea, I’m buying.”

He looked at her. “What kind of gentleman would that make me?” He took the cones from Kamekona, gave the strawberry one to Sabrina, and paid. “Mahalo, Kamekona.”

“No problem.” He wiggled his fingers at her. “Come back anytime, Sabrina.”

They moved to an empty bench in the shade.

“What’s with Shamu?” Sabrina asked.

Steve poked at his shaved ice, and looked back at the behemoth in question. “Kamekona? He’s harmless, but a great source of information.” He looked at the beach. “And if you ever escape from prison, he can hook you up with a small arsenal.”

“That particular tidbit wasn’t in the file.”

He sighed before looking at her. “Of course, you read the file.”

“After I ended up here.” Sabrina stared at her strawberry ice. “I had no idea you’d be here, Steve. If I had I wouldn’t have come. It’s not like I kept tabs on you.”

That shouldn’t have hurt, but it did. “Of course not, why would you?”

And this was the perfect intro. “We haven’t really parted on best of terms.”

“That’s putting it mildly.”

She couldn’t meet his eyes, not if she wanted to finish this conversation without giving away more than she needed to. “I know you don’t want me here, Steve. Actually, you have all reasons to hate me, and I don’t hold it against you. I know I hurt you.” And she’d do it again, in a heartbeat, if it meant keeping him alive. “But it’s been five years, can we put it behind us? I mean, you’ve obviously moved on. You’re with Catherine now, it’s not like I ruined you for any other woman,” she finished with a small smile.

If she only knew, but Steve kept silent, waiting for her to continue.

“Maybe I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I’m asking for it anyway.” She looked up at him, then back down at her already-melting cone. “Could we try to be...friends?”

“Friends?” he asked.

She nodded, finally meeting his eyes. “Yeah. I mean, we could accomplish so much more when we stop baiting and snapping at each other. And the team would accept me quicker if...if we’re not constantly at each other’s throats.”

Steve looked at her in silence for a few moments, then made the choice. “Okay, friends it is.”

Her shoulders relaxed and she shot him a dazzling smile, which, for the first time since he’s seen her the previous day, actually reached her eyes.

“And, for the record, I never hated you.”

Sabrina fell back on years of training to keep herself from bursting into tears. “Glad to hear that. Now.” She leaned her elbows into the wooden table between them, her cone forgotten. “Tell me, what you got.”

Steve told her everything, from the last conversation with his father over the phone while Victor Hesse held him hostage, to finding the evidence hidden in the tool box, the assault to his home, the slow return of the evidence, the murder of the governor, his suspicions about his father’s possible involvement, and everything they knew about Wo Fat, mostly thanks to the young CIA analyst Jenna Kaye.

“Jenna Kaye? You got your intel from Jenna Kaye?”

Steve nodded.

“Six feet, long, curly red hair, fearless, a pro with the knife, a real-life Amazon.”

“No, your height, short brown hair, completely clueless in the field. You must know another Jenna Kaye.”

Reena shook her head. “There’s only one Jenna Kaye at CIA, Steve. And she’s been dead for five years.” Her eyes were bleak. “She died saving my life.”

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