Crash and Burn - Chapter 9: Ka mihi ko ke kaikuahine

McGarrett home

Her toes buried into the sand, Mary sat on the beach, listening to the soft lull of the waves. She was leaning back on her hands, staring up into the star-sprinkled sky, the warm breeze gently kissing her exposed skin. She’s escaped the stifling silence of the house, unable to take her brother’s questioning looks anymore. He didn’t ask, he just waited, like their father had used to do, for her to spill her beans.

If she had her way, he’d wait a little longer. But when he offered her a beer bottle over her left shoulder, she knew her time has run out.

Steve dropped down onto the sand beside his sister and took a swallow out of his bottle. “You had time to get your story straight, Mare,” he said. “Let’s hear it.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she evaded.

“Mary Ann McGarrett,” he chided. “You’re talking to your brother.”

“That doesn’t make you an expert, Steve.”

He took the hit easily, registering barely a hint of guilt. She was right. He barely knew his own sister, thanks to their father and his protective measures, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t read her like an open book.

“True. But you forget I’m very good at my job. So, spill.”

“You offer me beer and then tell me to spill it?”

He tucked a finger under her chin and turned her face toward him. “Mary,” he said softly. “Talk to me.”

He might be a good investigator, but she’s inherited some kind of police gene from their father as well. And there had been definite animosity running from her brother toward Marc earlier. And it hadn’t been on her behalf. “Only if you answer a few questions after we’re done. Truthfully.”

He thought a bit, decided to take the risk. “Deal.”

Mary sighed, went back to watching the water. “Do you remember when I got here the first time? When I told you about this boyfriend I’d broken up with? His name was Marcus Hawthorne.”

She waited for Steve to speak, but he was silent, letting her set her own pace. On one hand, she was grateful, on the other she just wanted to get it over with.

“We’ve been seeing each other for almost seven months, when he suddenly got evasive. Saying he had to work late, that he had no time for a lunch break or dinner...” Her fingers clenched into a fist as she remembered the night she’d had enough and followed him.

“After a week I couldn’t take it anymore, so I followed him. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, except he didn’t work late as he’d told me.” She lifted the bottle to her lips, but didn’t drink. “He stopped at a supermarket before heading straight home. I waited for a while, but then decided to go ring the bell and ask him why he lied...when a cab stopped in front of his house and a woman ran to the door. I saw him open it, and he smiled.”

Her voice shook and she was thankful for her brother’s one-armed hug. “Steve, he smiled like a kid on Christmas morning. And I knew I could never compete with something like that.”

She was silent for so long, Steve finally had to ask. “What did you do?”

“Went straight home, and booked a flight for Hawaii.”

“You never confronted him?”

Mary shook her head. “What would be the point?”

“Closure?”

“Believe me, I got my closure when I saw him pull her inside his house.”




Sabrina Logan’s rental house

“So you just let it go?”

Marc nursed his scotch. “What was I supposed to do?”

Sabrina looked at him as if he’d gone crazy. She actually suspected he had. “Oh, I don’t know, seek her out? Demand an explanation?”

“Is that what you wish happened with you?”

She shook her index finger at him. “Don’t start your reverse-psychology crap, we’re talking about you right now.”

He sighed. “Fine. I tried seeking her out, but I learned she bailed to Hawaii. I tried calling her to demand an explanation, she blocked my number. I tried e-mail, everything came back as undelivered.”

“So you gave up.”

His mouth twisted. “It was pretty obvious she didn’t want to have anything to do with me.”

She met his eyes, smiled mirthlessly. “For what it’s worth, we still have each other.”

He lifted his glass. “I’ll drink to that.”




McGarrett home

“Do you know her?”

“What difference would that make?”

“They say it’s easier when you don’t know them.” What a load of bullshit that was, Steve mused. Not knowing the person your lover cheated on you with didn’t make it any easier. Betrayal was betrayal. It always hurt.

Mary shrugged. “I know her now.”

A cold fist squeezed around his heart. “What do you mean?”

“I met her today. Sabrina Logan.”

No, it wasn’t easier. Especially when, after five years, one learnt they had been right all along. “Sabrina?”

The bleak tone of her brother’s voice shook her out of her misery. And the looks from earlier started making terrible sense.

“What is she to you?”

“I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.”

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