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Steve Visits Sally at the nightclub that bears her name to find out more about the disco scene in Honolulu.  When he arrives, Sally is just finishing a song, so Steve waits at the bar.  He is dressed in pale gray pin stripe suit, white shirt with lilac tie.  Sally is a slim, attractive Hawaiian lady, with short black hair.  She is wearing a long dark blue V-neck dress, with gold shoelace straps and the skirt is split to the knee on the right hand side.  After her song, she goes over to Steve.

(S = Sally. SM = Steve)

S.         Well look who’s here.  Sally’s favorite cop.  Here.

She gives him a rose she is carrying.

SM.     For me?  You know Sally, you really should be singing in the big time, you know that don’t you.

S.                  I can see that you don’t know much about music.

SM.     No I don’t.  Sit down.

            Sally sits on a barstool.

SM.     I need some information Sally.

S.         Wait a minute.  All these times you come in here asking all these questions, then you never buy any drinks.  Why McGarrett?

SM.     That’s easy.  That’s because I don’t drink. (Smiling)

S.                  Well I do.

Sally sips a drink (scotch?) as Steve sits beside her.

S.                  You know, one of these days I’m going to get you so smashed, I’m going to find out what’s behind that all business front you put up.

SM.     What makes you think it’s a front?

S.         Hey bruddah.  Two things Sally knows best.  One is music, the other is men.      Why don’t you come see Sally sometime after work?

SM.     Sally.  You better watch out, I might take you up on that invitation one of these days - or nights.  So you better be careful.

            (Gives her a big smile.)

 

TRYING TIMES

by Hilary Elliott

Steve McGarrett was exhausted and bone weary.  He couldn’t remember when he had last been this tired.  The words on the paper he was trying to read merged together and made no sense. so he dropped it on the desk in disgust.  Leaning back in his chair he closed his eyes and though back over the events of the past few weeks.

A series of brutal murders had plagued the Chinese community and HPD had asked for Five-O’s help.  Steve and his men had been working round the clock but up to now they had nothing to go on.  Only that morning, he noticed his men looked as weary as he felt.  Deciding that a coffee might make him feel better he stood up, stretching his aching back as he did so.  Not bothering to straighten his loosened tie, he left the office.  Pouring his coffee, he glanced round.  The office staff had long since gone, but lights were still on in the cubicles.  All three of his men were still at work.  It was time to call it a day.

Clasping both hands round his cup, he stopped by Duke’s open door.  The Hawaiian cop looked up at Steve from red-rimmed eyes.

“Go home Duke.  You too Chin,” said Steve, raising his voice to carry next door.

Weary sighs echoed around him as he moved to the cubicle nearest his office.  Dan Williams had already closed the file he had been reading.  He leant back and rubbed a hand over his face.  Behind Steve, he could see Duke and Chin trudging out, calling desultory goodbyes as they went.  Steve leant on the doorframe sipping his coffee.

“You look how I feel,” said Danny getting to his feet.

Steve gave a half grin.

“Good as that eh?”

Danny shrugged himself into his jacket.

“Don’t know about you,” he said “but this case has got me beat.  I’m so tired, nothing makes sense anymore.”

Steve turned and went back to his office and Danny followed him.

“You’re not thinking of staying on are you?  You’re as tired as the rest of us,” observed Danny as Steve dropped into his chair.

“I know Danno, but somewhere in this” Steve’s hand indicated the mess of papers on his desk “is the answer to our problem.  The question is, where?”

His right hand slapped down on the scattered papers, his left hand keeping hold of his coffee mug.  He slumped into his chair as Danny faced him across the desk.

“Does that mean you’re working on?”

Steve nodded.

“Something might come to me,” he said.

Danny leant across the desk, his weight on his hands.  He glared at Steve as he spoke.

“Why don’t you go home?  You’re as dog tired as the rest of us.”

Steve finished his coffee and shook his head.

“I must find the missing clue before the killer strikes again,” he replied.

“But you’re so tired you can’t even read the notes, never mind think clearly!”

Danny yelled at Steve, who looked at him from under lowered brows.

“Don’t tell me what I should do.”

Steve raised his voice too.

The glared at each other for a moment, then Danny turned away in disgust and headed for the open door.

“You’re a stubborn old fool Steve,” he flung over his shoulder and slammed the door closed behind him.

“Oh hell,” muttered Steve and went out on the lanai.

From there he could see the front steps of the Palace and shortly Danny’s figure appeared at a brisk walk heading for his car.  Steve watched as Danny got behind the wheel, but didn’t immediately drive off.  On impulse, Steve stepped back to his phone and dialed.

“Central, patch me through to Dan Williams.”

Holding the receiver to his ear with one hand and the body of the phone in the other, he went outside again and looked down.  He saw Danny lean forward to pick up the mike.

“Williams.  Now what?

The voice was sharp.  He was still cross with Steve and was in no mood for an argument.

“Sorry Danno.”

“Oh.”

That hadn’t been what Danny had expected.  Apologies from Steve were rather rare.  In the silence Steve spoke again.

“You’re right, I am tired and I’m going to take your advice and go home.”

“Fine, I’ll see you in the morning then.”

“Night Danno.  Mind you close the car door.”

Danny chuckled; he realized Steve must be watching him from the lanai.

“Oh Steve?”

“Yeah Danno.”

“I’m sorry for what I said earlier.”

“That’s okay.  Two out of three’s not bad. 

Danny smiled.

“Which one didn’t you like?”

“I’ll admit to stubborn, possibly to being a fool, but I do object to old!”

They both laughed.  In the car, Danny looked out and up and waved goodbye to Steve, who returned the salutation.  Danny closed the car door and drove away as Steve replaced the phone gently on his desk.  He closed the French doors, retrieved his jacket and left the office, switching the lights off as he went.

As he drove to his apartment, Steve realized his brain was still working on the murders.  What I need is a distraction he thought.  He found he was driving by remote control and brought his attention back to his surroundings as he pulled into the curb.  Looking round to get his bearings, he noticed a small night-club across the road.  Smiling, he got out of the car and crossed over to it.

It was still early, so there were few customers listening to the small band.  He went across to the bar and as he reached it, he heard a voice behind him.

“Well look who’s here!

Steve turned and smiled at the attractive lady walking towards him.

“How’s my favorite cop?

Steve waited until Sally had sat on a stool before replying.

“This cop is tired and in need of some feminine company.  Are you busy tonight?”

Smiling, Sally shook her head.

“I was thinking of having a few hours off.  What did you have I mind?”

“Oh. Perhaps dinner at a little place I know.”

Steve perched on the stool next to Sally and endured her smiling scrutiny.  Her smile faded as she spoke.

“It’s that serial killer isn’t it? 

Steve sighed and nodded.

“I’ve given my men the night off and Danny yelled at me to do the same.  So, are you free for dinner?”

Sally slipped off the stool and laid a slim brown hand on Steve’s lapel.

“I have a better idea.  Let me fix you something here.  You can relax with one of Sally’s specials while I cook.  You look worn out.”

Steve thought quickly.  The idea appealed to him; it was ages since anyone had cooked for him.  He smiled as he took her hand in his.

“Thank you.  I’d like that,” he said simply.

Giving his hand a squeeze, she turned to her bartender telling him she would be in her apartment if needed.  Still holding Steve’s hand she led him, via a beaded curtain, through a door marked Private.  A short flight of stairs led to a small apartment above the club that bore her name.

“Okay McGarrett.  Take a seat and make yourself comfortable.”

“My friends call me Steve,” he said as he sat in an oversized easy chair.

“What do your enemies call you eh?”

Steve laughed.

“Nothing I could repeat to you.”

Sally waved a hand at him as she disappeared into the kitchen.

“Bet I’ve heard it all before,” she called back.

She reappeared a few moments later, holding a frosted glass containing amber liquid and stood looking at her guest.  Steve had fallen asleep, his head tilted to one side.  Sally set the glass down on a side table.  Deftly she removed Steve’s shoes and gently raised his legs, propped them on the end of the coffee table.  A blanket was brought from the bedroom and Sally covered the sleeping body with it.  Retrieving the drink, Sally lowered the lights and returned downstairs.

                                    *            *            *            *            *            *

Steve awoke with a start and for a moment couldn’t remember where he was.  Then he recalled his visit to Sally.  He sat upright and the blanket fell to the floor.  The smell of coffee reached him seconds before Sally did, bearing a steaming cup in her hand.

“I was just coming to wake you.  Here, drink this.”

Steve took the proffered mug.  He tried to focus on his watch.

“It’s about 2.30.”

Steve moved his feet from the table and into his shoes.  Sally sat on the table to ask

“How do you feel?”

“Better, thank you.”

Steve sipped the hot brew and sighed.

“What must you think of me?  I ask you to dinner, then fall asleep in your apartment!”

Sally smiled.

“In an armchair too – not even in my bed!”

Steve felt himself blushing and Sally leant forward, resting her arms on his knees.

“I told you before, I’ve been around; I know men.  And you were one tired fella.  If you’d been in my bed, I reckon you’d just have slept better, that’s all.”

Steve put the cup down and took Sally’s hand in his.

“Will you have dinner with me another evening?” he asked.

“It will be my pleasure.  Now, sleeping beauty, it’s time you went home.”

Sally stood and moved away so Steve could stand up.  He still kept hold of her hand as she walked with him to the door.  Steve turned her to face him, with his hands on her shoulders.  Smiling down at her he spoke.

“I always thought sleeping beauty was awoken by a kiss.”

Sally laughed and slipped her arms around his waist.

“You beat me to it and woke up early.  But if it’ll make you feel better…”

Sally reached up to kiss him on the cheek, but Steve moved his head and their lips brushed together instead.  Startled, they both looked at each other.  Steve could see a pulse beating at Sally’s throat and the fingers of his left hand gently traced it.  His hand continued to the back of her neck and into her hair.  Bending his head slightly, their lips met again, slowly and sensuously.

“Well, aren’t you full of surprises!”

Sally reached up and pushed back the lock of hair that had fallen over his right eyebrow.  Steve gently enfolded Sally in his arms and they stood quietly together.  Finally Steve moved away.

“I must go.  When this case is over, can we spend some together? Perhaps a trip on my boat?”

“Sure I’d like that.  I want to see beneath the tough cop image you project.”

Sally turned and opened the door at the top of an outside flight of steps.

“You take care of yourself McGarrett.  I’ll see you soon.”

“Thanks, honey.”

Steve turned and trotted down the steps.  At the bottom, he turned and smiled up at Sally, who blew him a kiss.

                                    *            *            *            *            *            *

Steve was back in his office by 8 am that morning.  After another three hours sleep (in his own bed) and a long run on the beach, he had to admit he felt refreshed.  Loosening his tie, he settled down to rereading the paperwork on his desk.  He was so engrossed, he didn’t realize he had company until a mug of coffee was placed in front of him.  He looked up, startled.

“Morning Steve.”

Danny’s cheery face grinned down at him.

“Morning Danno.  Thanks for the coffee.”

“Sleep well last night?”

The coffee mug halted midway between desk and lips as Steve looked up at his grinning friend.

“Yes thanks.  You don’t usually enquire after my rest.  Why now?”

He leant back in his chair and studied the young man opposite him.  Danny’s grin was huge, as if he had a secret and was dying to tell it to someone.

“Come on.  What’s on your mind?”

Danny hesitated, not sure that what he was going to say wouldn’t cause a major eruption.  He shuffled his feet, glanced down at his hands then looked Steve straight in the eye.

“Whose bed?” he blurted out.

Bull’s-eye he thought, as he watched a pink glow creep over Steve’s cheeks.  Steve slowly put the mug down and placed his palms flat on the desk.  Smiling slightly he replied.

“Okay Danno.  You think you know something I don’t.  So why this sudden interest in where I slept?

Danny sat on the arm of the chair in front of the desk and cleared his throat.  It had seemed a good idea to tease Steve when he’d heard the gossip, but now he wasn’t so sure.

“You were seen leaving Sally’s club this morning.  From her private apartment.”

“I see and how did you come by this nugget of information?”

Steve was thinking quickly.  If he had been seen by a blue and white, this gossip would be all over HPD by mid morning.  The coconut wireless was very effective.  Danny had the grace to look ashamed, but the grin was still there.

“I bumped into Ben after my swim this morning.  He saw you, but he’s the sole of discretion,” Danny added quickly. “He won’t tell anyone.”

“He told you,” was the quick retort.

Danny was prevented from answering as the door was flung open and Chin stood in the doorway, Duke at his shoulder.

“There’s been another killing Steve,” exclaimed Chin.

Steve was on his feet, reaching for his jacket as Duke continued.

“We’ve got a suspect!  HPD are holding someone found at the scene.”

“Let’s go!

The man detained at the scene by HPD turned out to be the killer.  The sparse evidence that had already been gathered fitted him so well that John Manicote scheduled the trial for a month ahead.

The atmosphere throughout the Five-0 office lightened considerably, everyone relieved that the case was over.

Steve gave his overworked team time off; Chin and Duke, the family men, having the first few days and Danny the next three.  Steve pulled rank and put himself down to have the following weekend off.  Luckily crime took a holiday too and Steve and Danny were able to relax on the Saturday by playing some strenuous games of tennis.

“Thanks for the ride home Steve.”

“My pleasure Danno.  See you Tuesday morning.”

Danny got out of the car, but leant back in to ask,

“Where can we find you if we need you?”

Steve laughed.

“It’s no use Danno.  I’m not telling you what I’m doing or where I’ll be.  You’ll just have to hope things stay quiet this weekend.”

Danny shut the car door and stood back as Steve gunned the engine and drove away.  Turning to his apartment, Danny grinned and shook his head ruefully.  You’re supposed to be a trained interrogator and you couldn’t even suss out whom Steve was going to see!  Another idea took hold as he unlocked the door.  Perhaps he’d take one of his girlfriends out to dinner, then for a drink at Sally’s club.  He laughed delightedly at this ploy as he reached for the phone.

Steve spent the rest of the day on his boat, even going for a short sail in the evening.  He enjoyed these moments of quiet solitude and he felt the strain of the past few weeks blow away, as the breeze blew threw his hair.  He slept on board that night and returned to his apartment on the Sunday afternoon.  After getting out of his sailing gear and showering, he sat on the bed to ring Sally to confirm his dinner date.  He pulled the toweling robe closer round himself and rubbed his wet hair with a towel as he waited for her to answer.  When she answered, he identified himself.

“Pick you up about 8, okay?” he asked.

“Fine.  I’ll be waiting.”

“Oh and wear your dancing shoes.”

“Dinner and dancing!  Hmm, you’d better come back to Sally’s place for coffee afterwards.”

“Look forward to it.  See you later.”

Humming to himself, Steve replaced the receiver and set about getting ready for his first night out in months.

                                    *            *            *            *            *            *

The big sedan drew up outside the club and Steve went up the stairs to Sally’s apartment.  He knocked and the door swung open.

“Come in McGarrett.”

Steve stepped into the kitchen as Sally came through the opposite door.

“Aloha nani 1,” said Steve as he handed Sally an orchid.

“Mahalo 2.”

Sally smiled; she had heard the admiration in Steve’s voice.

“I’ll just fix this in my hair and I’ll be ready.”

She turned back to her bedroom and the mirror.  He leant in the doorway and watched her deft movements as she clipped the flower above her left ear.  By good luck, the dark red flower complemented the color of the silk holomuu, which fitted her slim figure.  Sally turned back to Steve, picked up her purse and walked over to stand in front of him.

“Are you going to stand there all night or what?”

At that, Steve burst out laughing.  Taking her hand, he smiled down at her as he spoke.

“If it was ‘what’, we’d never get to dinner!”

Steve waited as Sally, giggling, locked the door and then led the way to his car.  Steve had chosen a restaurant away from the tourist areas, which served excellent food and had a small band.  Being a high-profile cop sometimes meant his private life wasn’t as private as he would like.  This restaurant, with its booths and subtle lighting, should ensure some privacy.

He found Sally a charming companion with a fund of amusing stories about her past work.  Over dessert, she dropped a small bombshell.

“Oh by the way, Dan Williams was in the club last night.”

“Nothing unusual in that is there?” replied Steve.

“Only that he was obviously trying to find out if you were around.”

Sally laughed at Steve’s obvious discomfort.

“C’mon McGarrett.  Why did he think you’d be there?”

Steve grinned ruefully.

“I was seen leaving your place last week and someone told Danny and when I wouldn’t tell him where I could be reached this weekend, well, Danno put two and two together, but he was just a bit early! 

He shrugged.

“I reckon he was trying to be a detective!  Would you like to dance?”

They joined the other couples on the small dance floor and Steve pulled Sally into his arms.  As they danced, Sally became very aware of his hand on her back and a thought came to her.  Wonder what his hands would feel like on my bare back, instead of through the material of a dress, and then she blushed at the thought.

“Hey, where’d you learn to dance so well?”

Steve smiled down at her.

“The Navy ran many courses for the young cadet.”

The evening passed swiftly.  Steve broke his own rule and enjoyed two glasses of wine, much to Sally’s amusement.

“I don’t consider two glasses of wine as drinking,” he said to her enquiring glance as he poured the second glass.

After leaving the restaurant, Steve drove carefully back to the club.  Being Sunday it was closed.  In case Danny had the place staked out, Steve drove around the block before parking in the next street.  Running, they managed to get inside before the threatening rain fell.  While Sally pottered in the kitchen, Steve moved through to the sitting room.

“Make yourself at home McGarrett,” called Sally.

She came through carrying a tray with a jug of frosted liquid and two glasses.  Steve had removed his jacket and tie and undone the top button of his shirt.

“You see I’m taking you at your word Sally.”

She smiled at him.

“I want your advice on a new drink I’m thinking of introducing in the club.”

Seeing the doubt on his face she added,

“This is just a mix of fruit juices.  Tell me what you think.”

Sally handed him a glass of amber colored liquid and Steve took a tentative sip, then another.

“Very pleasant.”

Sally smiled at him and poured herself a glass.  Before she could have a drink herself, Steve spoke again.

“What else is in this glass besides fruit juice?”

Sally looked the picture of innocence.

“What makes you think there’s anything else?”

Steve sighed.

“Just because I don’t usually drink doesn’t mean I don’t know the taste of alcohol!” he replied.

He suddenly recalled something Sally had said to him and leant forward.

“Are you by any chance trying to get me smashed?”

“Damn it McGarrett.  You weren’t supposed to notice.”

Sally moved to sit next to him on the sofa.

“I was only trying to get under your guard.”

“You’ve done that already pretty lady,” said Steve quietly.

His face suddenly serious, his eyes searched the face of the woman beside him.  Leaning forward, he kissed her gently on her forehead, her eyes, her cheek and finally her lips.

Sally returned the kiss, her hand touching Steve’s cheek.  She sat back slightly and studied him in turn.

“You’re not planning on falling asleep in the chair again are you?”

“Not if I get a better offer.”

Smiling, Sally gracefully got to her feet and held out her hand.  Steve took it and she pulled him upright.  Still holding his hand, she led him through to the bedroom and shut the door firmly behind them.

PAU


1 Hello beautiful

2 Thank you

 

 

 

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