Crash and Burn - Chapter 29: Ho’oku’i ā puhi

Marc shook his head sadly when Sabrina reentered her house. Her eyes were blank, her face impassive. The wall was back up. She was blocking everything from getting out and everything—and everyone—from getting in.

“What are you in the mood for?” he asked, keeping his tone light, though he knew she’d refuse dinner. “I have a craving for pasta.”

“You go ahead,” she whispered, even that soft tone cold and detached. “I’m not hungry. I know why Mary broke it off. She thought you were cheating on her with me.” A blink. “I’m sorry. After this is done, I’ll talk to her. Tell her there’s nothing between us.”

“Or you could tell everyone the truth.”

She shook her head, her expression didn’t change. “No. We’ve been through this. Your career would be over.”


She rolled her eyes, went into her bedroom, took her Five-0 badge out of her top drawer, returned to the kitchen. “My line of work doesn’t allow for attachments. You saw what happened when I had a boyfriend. Imagine what would happen if I suddenly got a brother.” She placed the badge on the counter between them. “Consider this my resignation.”

He stared down at the badge, looked up at her, shook his head. “No.”

“I’ll finish this, then I’ll go. No one will clamor for the truth when I’m gone.”

He shook his head. “No. You know what I think? I think you have a perfectly selfish reason not to tell the truth.”

“Enlighten me.”

“If you actually told him the truth, you wouldn’t be able to mope around feeling sorry for yourself and the crappy hand you’ve been dealt.” He scowled. “I think you like feeling sorry for yourself.”

Her eyes turned to ice and he knew he overdid it.

She turned and calmly walked away. “Let yourself out. Goodnight, Marcus.”

Two hours later she sat in the dark, the weather mirroring her mood, as the rain still pelted the window of her den. And she hasn’t done anything yet. Just sat there, trying hard not to think. Because if she thought she’d break down, and she didn’t have time to break down, have a nice, long cry, huddle in a corner and feel sorry for herself. She had a job to finish.

Yet, she hasn’t done anything toward that goal.

She sighed, stood, and went into the kitchen. Marc had left right after she’d locked herself in the den. Without a word. Better that way. He had said more than enough. Though she had to admit he’d been partially right in his observation. She had a selfish reason not to tell Steve the truth. Simply, she was a coward. When it came to Steve McGarrett and her feelings for him, she was a coward. It was better to simply ignore those feelings, ignore him, put on an impenetrable mask, and let him think whatever he wanted.

She quickly threw together a plate of pasta and took it into the living room. She sat down on her couch, where mere two hours ago, she had lain under Steve’s hard body, and ate her dinner in blessed silence with only the rain sliding down the floor-to-ceiling windows for company.

His hand fisted in her hair as their breaths and tongues met...

Reena flinched, blinked to keep tears at bay. She wouldn’t break down.

She stood, carried her empty plate back into the kitchen and made herself a cup of tea. She knew that if she attempted to sleep now, the tight rein she kept on her thoughts would loosen and memories, emotions would intrude. She hoped the cup of warm tea would relax her enough to put her to sleep without breaking her mental hold.

She sat back on the sofa, holding the cup between her chilled hands, looked out into the dark, rainy night.

One last nibble on her earlobe and he reared back, yanked his shirt off over his head, and looked down at her with eyes blazing with hunger.

She shuddered, took a sip of tea. She wouldn’t break down. She wouldn’t! She couldn’t afford the luxury of doing so.

His strong hands cupped her cheeks as he took her mouth in a kiss that melted her insides.

With shaking hands she placed the cup on the coffee table, lay on the sofa, hugged her knees, and let herself remember.

“You don’t even know what love is.”

The dam broke. Tears streaming down her cheeks, choking sobs shaking her body, Sabrina Logan let herself be weak for a while.

McGarrett home

Steve stood in his kitchen, looking at his reflection in the rain-streaked windowpane, his conscience raked by guilt, his heart filled with regrets.

He didn’t regret kissing her. How could he? It had been amazing, passionate, sweet, sexy, hot...Until Marcus Hawthorne had walked in on them.

He scowled at his reflection.

The guy really had a knack for timing, for barging in—literally and not—to rain on Steve’s parade, to ruin his life.

One of the regrets was that he hadn’t planted a fist into Hawthorne’s face. For what he’d done to his sister, but mostly for what he’d done to him and what he was still doing to Sabrina. Though the man’s reaction had been rather strange for someone who’s walked in on his girlfriend with another man. Was the guy really that cold, that twisted? Or had he somehow seen the scene on the couch as some sort of deserved payback?

Not important.

What was important, his biggest regret, was what he’d said to Sabrina in the end. The words would forever be seared into his mind.

“You don’t even know what love is.”

He winced as the echo still reverberated in his ears. She had hurt him, whether she wanted to or not, she’d hurt him and he had forgotten all his training, tossed the cool, detached, unemotional SEAL through the proverbial window, and had lashed out like a wounded animal. She might not love him, not anymore, but that didn’t give him the right to say what he’d said.

He’d regretted the words as soon as they were out of his mouth, but couldn’t take them back. So he’d fled, unable to look into her eyes and see the pain—or, even worse, the utter impassiveness. He couldn’t say which would’ve been worse.

And now, here he stood, looking at his reflection in the window, filled with regrets, trying to come up with a way to apologize. He would have to face her tomorrow and he dreaded the confrontation. Apologizing wasn’t exactly in his nature, so he’ll have to improvise, though he had no idea what to say, how to get back into her good graces, because if Sabrina was anything, she was proud, stubborn, and could hold a grudge with the best of them.

He thought about calling Mary and ask for advice, then decided against it. She’d just call him a proud idiot and he didn’t need her input to know that.

Steve rubbed his hands over his eyes, down the stubble on his chin. He looked at his reflection a moment longer, then went into his living room, and collapsed onto his sofa. He closed his eyes and remembered, a collage of memories, those of five years prior and those of the past few weeks mixing together. The happiness and sorrow, the passion, the laughter, the arguments, the kisses and lovemaking...The heartbreak.

And when sleep finally took him, his rest was haunted by large gray eyes, just as, across the city, a woman’s rest was haunted by a pair of blue ones, as the rain cleansed the atmosphere, readying it for a new, sunny morning.

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