Crash and Burn - Chapter 34: Lawe ‘ia

Reena slowly opened her eyes, her head hammering. She tried moving, but her hands and feet were bound. For a moment disorientation set in, then memories intruded. Her plans for the evening, Fryer’s visit, the soft sound from behind, the blow...

“Son of a bitch,” she hissed. Either Fryer’s grudge had grown out of proportion, which was highly doubtful, or he was working for someone. Wo Fat most likely.

“Son of a bitch,” she hissed again. The little weasel had gone about it in plain sight, right underneath their noses, and no one had known, no one had suspected.

Before she succumbed to the urge to mentally kick herself, she assessed her situation. Wherever they kept her, it was pitch black and silent. So she assumed she was somewhere outside the city, she only hoped she was still on O’ahu.

Okay, next order of business. She wiggled left and right, hoping against hope. There was nothing in her pockets, they’ve taken her weapons, all of them. Of course, they have, they weren’t stupid. Unfortunately, they weren’t stupid.

It was pointless wiggling about in the dark like a worm, searching for something to loosen her bonds, because, unless she found a pair of shears, she wasn’t getting loose; they’ve used flexicuffs.

All she could do was wait, listen, be patient. She hated waiting, she hated not being able to do anything to save herself. She could only hope that Marc, in his uber-protective big brother mode, would remember her contingency plan. And she hoped he’d stay far away when he did.

She relaxed her muscles, trying to bring the dull pain in her head under control, and closed her eyes...

Governor’s residence, 5 a.m.

Marcus Hawthorne sipped his coffee, scanning the paper, the restlessness that had plagued him for half the night still going strong. He had the feeling there was something wrong, something seriously wrong.

He tried Reena’s number again. Still unavailable. And the restlessness increased. She was never unavailable. At least not for so long. He better make a quick stop before going to work.

McGarrett home, 5.15 a.m.

Steve hadn’t slept a wink, tossing and turning, a strange feeling of urgency riding him hard. He knew the feeling. He’d experienced it almost every day in Afghanistan. Like a sixth sense, a gut instinct, telling him either something big was about to happen or something had already happened and someone was in danger.

He poured another cup of coffee, gulped it down, grabbed his keys, and went to work.

State Capitol, 5.45 a.m.

Marcus Hawthorne stalked into his office, slammed the door shut, and tried calling his sister again. The last time, but he still hoped she’d answer. His hope went unanswered, as he suspected—no, knew—it would.

The pick-up he’d lent her for her little ‘guardian angel side gig’, as she’d called it, was in her driveway and there was no sign of her in the house, the bed untouched. And he knew, he absolutely knew, she was in trouble.

And counting on him to find her.

“Great, sis,” he whispered, scrolling through his contact list. “You never do things half-way.”

“Cook,” a cultured voice answered the call.

“Elton, this is Marcus Hawthorne.”

The head of the CSS R&D department didn’t waste time with pleasantries. He went straight to the point. “What trouble is she in now?”

“The usual.”

“That SEAL?” It was a rhetorical question. Elton Cook, as Reena’s former partner, was one of the few people still alive who knew everything. Or as close to everything as possible with Sabrina Logan involved.

Still, Marc answered. “One and the same.”

Cook cursed softly. “When will it end?”

“Soon,” Marc replied. Very soon if he had anything to say about it. “She’s gone missing.”

Another soft curse, then furious tapping. So it was true what Reena had told him, Elton Cook was never too far away from his computer. “Contingency protocol initiated.” More tapping. “Got her. Coming through loud and clear. I’ll send you the coordinates.”

“Thank you, Elton.”

“Hey, Marc. You met the guy?”

He didn’t have to ask who Elton meant. “Yeah.”

“Is he worth it?”

Marc wanted to say no, Steve McGarrett wasn’t worth everything his sister had gone through for him. But he couldn’t. Because if Reena loved the man, he was worth it. That and more. Because his sister would never fall for someone who didn’t deserve it.

And now, after getting to know the man he’d previously only read about, Marc had to agree. Steve McGarrett was worthy. Of his sister’s love. Of her devotion. And if Marc had any say in the matter, he’d get it. Because it didn’t take a genius to see the man still loved his sister. He might be too stubborn to admit it, or too scared of getting burned again, but it was there. It was amazing Reena didn’t notice. Marc smiled. Those directly involved seldom saw what was right in front of their noses.

The smile changed into a frown. What McGarrett wasn’t worth, though, was Reena giving her life for him, and Marc knew the man would agree with him, even if Reena wouldn’t. That’s why he would do everything in his power to get her back alive and well, so he could yell at her as much as he pleased.

“Yes,” he replied. “Unfortunately, he is.”

“Good,” Cook growled. “Now I don’t have to erase his 401(k) for being a loser.”

Marc chuckled, checked his phone. “I got the coordinates. Thank you again.”

“You’re welcome. Now, go get her.”

Marc blinked as the call was disconnected. Those Alphabet-soup-agency boys were all the same. No time for hellos or goodbyes.

He called up the coordinates, scanned the result. If the subdermal GPS-enabled implant on Reena’s hip was working as it should, they held her somewhere in the Ko’olau Range. Far away from any civilization. Not an access point in sight, unless you hiked or had a helicopter handy. But the spot was perfect for a surprise attack, the ridge an excellent position for a sniper.

He smiled, feeling the exhilaration before the battle. Damn, he’d missed this feeling. Nothing in the world could beat it. The calculating of the odds, the planning, the looking at a problem from all possible angles...God, he’d missed the feeling.

Strategy and its back-up in place, he picked up his phone again, scrolled his contacts.

“White,” a deep, slightly raspy voice answered on the second ring.

“Joe, it’s Marc. I need a favor.”

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