Mu Shu Pork
The couple, with the camera crew expertly walking backwards several feet in front of them, was strolling down the avenue back towards the car. Williams glanced casually at his watch, wishing he could think of a way to quickly sate the stunning woman’s desire / need to offer a show which would be interesting to her viewers. Steve and the guys were in all probability cracking the Sands case wide open while he meandered around downtown Honolulu, with thousands of eyes watching his every move. Press exposure was now a mundane – and frequently annoying – part of Williams’ job, so nerves were not a factor – rather, it was the sense that he was missing out on the real action. He sighed – despite the decoy nature of his mission, he was still on duty, representing Steve and Five-0 on national television. Determined to make the best of it, he tried to focus on the fact that he might actually have a shot at a date with someone about whom he’d admittedly fantasized. Still, when pitting pleasure against duty, Dan knew that duty had to win, even when someone as fascinating as Kiki Chee was involved.
“So, Danny, as a Five-0 detective, your life must be just one big whirlwind of excitement and danger,” Kiki’s melodious voice was conspiratorial as she slipped her left arm around Dan’s right.
“I think I mentioned this back in the office – the truth of it is that crime solving is ninety eighty percent tedious investigative legwork and paperwork, and maybe two percent excitement.” Williams offered frankly as he made a serious effort to not react too school-boyishly to the beauty’s alluring touch. The detective was not unfamiliar with the feminine sensory tactic which generally served to weaken her male prey.
Exaggerated skepticism played across the petite woman’s face as she cocked her head to study her guest’s countenance. “Are you trying to tell me that if I were to tag along with you for a whole day that all we would do is paperwork?”
Dan’s brow furled slightly as he admitted with a shrug, “Hmmm, on some days – yeah.”
Kiki pressed. “NO excitement?”
“I’m not saying never, but—” The detective started to shake his head, beginning to re-assert his claim, but he stopped in mid-sentence as a man poking the upper third of his body from around the corner of a nearby building captured his attention. He was a grizzly-looking behemoth of a man whom Dan recognized immediately. Stanley Green – known on the streets as Boxer – was what Williams termed a high-end informant. Not willing to settle for a fin in exchange for intelligence on the criminal element of Hawaii, Boxer would hold out for a figure which made Five-0’s thrifty second-in-command cringe. After a short round of argument about how valuable the information was, Dan would relent and pay the man though since the beach scavenger always had news that was worth the price.
What interested Williams at this moment was the fact that the very paranoid Boxer never overtly signaled ANY law enforcement officer. Rather, it usually took two or three nervous, anonymous phone calls to the Palace before the man would agree on the logistics of a face-to-face meeting with the detective. Dan had to come alone WITH cash payment in his pocket, and then sit on a bench or stand near a phone booth – someplace which offered the coverage of nearby shrubbery so that Boxer could sit in the bushes and speak without being seen associating with the cop.
Now, Green was clearly trying to get Williams’ attention despite the very obvious recording equipment trained on the officer. Dan blinked in dismay and stared in the man’s direction for just long enough to catch the reporter’s attention. Chee followed the detective’s line of sight before she re-trained her eyes on Dan. “Who is that man? He looks suspicious!”
The detective’s adrenalin kicked in as he realized that – unlike Hap Smith – Boxer was a truly valuable informant whose life could in fact be at risk if certain members of the criminal element were aware of his conversations with the police. Suddenly more animated, Dan slipped out of Kiki’s grasp and made it to the camera lens in two strides just in time to prevent the cameraman from panning to where Green was still visible.
“Frank!” Dan called out, surprising the man with the camera on his shoulder. With Williams’ unexpected move, the cameraman quickly adjusted the focus of the lens to capture the officer now standing two feet away. Chee quickly caught up to him as Dan, still monitoring Frank out of the corner of his eye for signs that he might try to get a shot of Boxer, addressed the woman quickly. “Kiki, I’m going to have to ask you and your crew to wander on back to the car without me. I do have a police matter that needs attending immediately!”
“This doesn’t look like paperwork to me, Danny!” Chee accused with a vindicated air.
Williams ignored the mildly accusatory remark as he gently brushed past the obviously-vexed female with a terse promise. “I’ll meet you at the car in a couple minutes!”
“Wait a minute—” Chee began her objection firmly, but Dan put a hand lightly on her lips as he directed a warning glare and a word of caution at both of the men holding the equipment.
“Frank – Mitch – Do NOT even think about pointing this camera in my direction until you see me back at the car!” The command was clear, and the two men, after very brief eye contact with each other, nodded slightly at the detective, and re-directed their equipment at the star of the show.
With that, Dan broke into a sprint in the informant’s direction, closing the distance between them in less than four seconds. Behind him, he could hear Kiki’s voice growing more commanding as she directed the camera to stay with the detective.
One of the men tried to reason with the reporter. “Kiki, we don’t want to cause—”
The shrill voice cut him off. “I believe you’re on MY payroll, Frank – now do it! We owe it to our audience!”
Sands’ houseboy, a kid named Kahala, had been cagily mooching breakfast, on the Five-0 expense account, while giving over very little information to Chin Ho Kelly. The veteran detective would have preferred a better location for an interview, but the kid was nervous about talking to the cops. This seedy little café on a backstreet of downtown Honolulu was comfortable for him. If he would only talk.
Kahala, shoveling in a full plate of Portuguese sausage, rice, eggs and pancakes, still had not given over anything of value. Sipping his tea, Chin was sorry he had called out Steve over what he thought had been a promising lead. All Kahala wanted to do was eat and watch TV.
Rather than press the nervous young man too hard, Chin went along with the full course meal, and the entertainment. It WAS diverting watching the Live From Hawaii broadcast. Danny had sure gotten himself into a fix this time. The youngest Five-0 detective’s conversation in the car with the reporter WAS funny. Not to anyone else, he was sure, but to someone on the inside, it was painfully amusing that Williams was striving to be polite and courteous to the reporter, trying not to seem uncomfortable under the scrutiny and questioning. At the same time, he was trying to impress this pretty face – a girl the whole office knew he had a crush on – while walking a line that would make McGarrett happy. Chin couldn’t wait to see Steve’s teasing over this latest Williams episode.
“Come on, Kahala, you can talk while you eat.”
“Hey, don’t rush me, man, I gotta keep up my strength. What I got is good, Chin, really.” The young man’s ethereal attention was diverted once again by the TV screen.
Kiki and Danny were walking down one of the less scenic avenues of the old downtown district. It looked like they were not too far from the historic area by the river. The Fresh Poi Café, though he did not trust much of anything to be fresh here, including the tea, was on the far side of Chinatown, not very close to Williams’ location. Kahala and the other men in the café were commenting on the vivacious looks of the reporter, the luck of that unappreciative detective, and many unsavory comments a married man did not like to hear about young girls, even if they were opportunistic reporters making money off their looks.
“Danny, are you sure we can’t be doing something more – interesting?”
Chin smiled at the naïve comment. Danny had been right before when he told her a lot of police work was dull paper trails, knocking on doors and reading old files. What Danny had neglected to mention was that Five-0 cases WERE a little more dangerous and action-oriented than HPD. If Steve would give the media a real chance to see inside the special unit there would be some eye-opening examples that would have to be censored for the audience.
Kiki was adjusting the small microphone clipped to Dan’s lapel.
“Where to?” Kiki chirped.
Williams unenthusiastically yanked his head slightly. “Down here.”
As the couple strolled down the street and around the corner onto a less-busy side street, several onlookers stopped and watched with interest until they lost sight of the spectacle.
More rude comments from the Fresh Poi Café clientele accompanied the visual. Chin’s attention was snagged out the open front door of the greasy eatery. McGarrett and Kokua had just pulled up at the curb. Ah, now they would get somewhere with Kahala. The head of Five-0 was not going to be in any mood to waste time with this kid, who was so engrossed in the TV show.
“Danny! Danny!” A hoarse voice called. Williams looked across the street and saw the thin, old man rushing across to greet him. Wearing a faded, yellow luau shirt, the man had obviously not shaved in days, possibly weeks.
“Is THAT your informant?” Disdain momentarily replaced the gleeful, conspiratorial mood of the striking reporter. She breathed a little more quietly. “He’s filthy!”
Kahala stopped eating, intently watching the drama as Chee watched Williams and the informant.
The reporter turned back to the camera, and spoke even more quietly. “Just so you know… I don’t want our brave police detective to get into any kind of trouble, but I have it on VERY GOOD AUTHORITY that Danny is getting information about the Sands case at this very moment! It is distinctly possible that we’re witnessing the exchange of information which will break this case wide open, bringing to justice the perpetrators of this horrible crime!” She put her index finger to her lips in a hush signal and winked.
Kahala dropped his fork on his plate and glared at Kelly. Someone at the front of the café growled “cops”. Kahala turned to McGarrett and Kokua blocking the door. “Ayyyy!”
Springing from the seat, he dashed past Kelly, vaulting over the counter. The Oriental detective raced after him, taking the slower, less athletic route around to a side path. Kokua zipped out the door to cover the back at McGarrett’s quick order.
By the time McGarrett trotted to the back storeroom, Kelly was in the open window. The boss kept moving to the rear door, relieved to see Kokua had the young man down on the pavement in the alley.
Crouching down at the heavily breathing houseboy, McGarrett told him, “You called us, Kahala. Running makes you look a little suspicious –“
“No! I didn’t have anything to do with it! Whatever Williams finds out, I have nothing to do with it!”
Kokua roughly picked the small houseboy up by the scruff of his collar and slammed him against the building. “I think Mister McGarrett would like a better explanation,” the hefty Samoan detective demanded.
“Okay, okay, but not here! There’s ears and eyes everywhere around here, man, just ask Williams!”
The head of Five-0 cast a curious glance at Kelly, then Kahala, for an explanation. “What has this got to do with Officer Williams?”
“On the TV!”
McGarrett turned to Kelly and learned that Ms Chee had just told the TV audience that Danny’s informant was supposedly, according to the wacko reporter, telling all about the Sands’ kidnapping.
Shaking his head, the boss’ anger of the irritating necessity of cooperating with the media boiled to lava intensity. Lying to the public was unconscionable, and using his unit – his second-in-command – as a channel to mislead and fabricate was unforgivable. Glaring at the shaking informant, his ire tempered. Even if arrived at by all the wrong methods, the TV show had inadvertently cracked at least one nut wide open. If he had known this ahead of time, he might have thought of a way to manipulate Live From Hawaii even more.
As he pushed the much larger man back around the corner and out of the camera’s line of sight, Dan fired a glance towards Chee, who was running faster after him than the detective could have imagined anyone could possibly run in spike pumps.
“How is she doing that?” Williams breathed in aside amazement. The only response was a confused “what?” from scraggly-bearded informant, appearing at least twenty years older than Dan.
“Never mind, Boxer! C’mon! You picked a heck of a time to lose your shyness!” Williams tugged the man roughly by the dingy aloha shirt he sported.
The man’s already-anguished expression deepened as he complied with surprising agility. His gravelly voice quietly directed as he nearly bowled over the detective to take the lead in their exodus. “Here – this way!”
With no time for indecision – the Live crew was nearly upon them – Dan followed the informant along the side of the building to the nearest door, which Green shoved open. Both men rushed in before Williams quickly closed the door taking great care in final inches to not slam it and draw attention to their trail. The detective could hear Kiki speaking to her audience as she and her small entourage rushed past the doorway.
Panting, she called loudly – no doubt to make sure the microphone was picking up her voice, “It seems to me, dear viewers, that our darling detective is hiding something from Kiki!”
Dan winced internally – a simple event that could have ended in a very pleasant social engagement – had just taken a turn for the worse in more ways than just personally. Unless he rushed to sort out Boxer’s problem and got himself back on the Kiki Chee distraction case, Five-0’s second-in-command knew he was going to have a media problem, and possibly one with the governor’s office – of course, these would lead to heat from the person he least wanted to receive it.
“I’m in trouble, Danny!” The distraught man huffed as several beads of sweat dropped summarily down onto the detective’s face.
Williams grimaced in disgust. “Shhhh,” he whispered as he tugged his handkerchief out and wiped his face. “Go! That way – down the hall!”
The entire fifty-foot length of the narrow corridor into which the pair had stepped was lit by only one bulb midway down the hall. A quick assessment told Dan that their hiding place was a run-down apartment building, which had a couple of small, family-run storefronts facing the street. They rushed headlong, and did not stop until they reached the only bend, from which Dan could see light from a door terminating that section of the hall. Now feeling his position defensible with two escape routes at the ready, the detective took in a breath, and wiped his face one more time before he craned his neck to glare angrily upward into Stanley Green’s teary eyes.
“Ya know, Boxer, for a guy who’s gone to such pains to avoid being seen in the company of law enforcement personnel, waving to me on national television seems like it just MIGHT have struck you as a very bad idea! Do you realize what your life would be worth if Joe Fujitsu knew who fingered him – or the Scruggs brothers?”
“I’m sorry – I guess I panicked when… when I saw what I saw,” Green began to cry openly as he lifted a corner of his shirt to his face.
Dan, sensing that the man might be preparing to blow his nose on his clothing, quickly pressed his sweat-tainted kerchief into the man’s hand. Cooling marginally, Williams made a conscious effort to slow his breathing and take control of the situation. “Stop crying, Boxer – we’ll get it sorted out. What EXACTLY did you see that brought you out of hiding so… so dramatically?”
The behemoth of a man continued to sob gently as he looked down both hallways before responding. “It was you… on the television… at the Sweet Leilani’s down the street.”
The detective frowned in confusion. “You were knockin’ back a cold one at Sweet L’s, and watching the Live from Hawaii broadcast – and you got the urge to be a star?”
“No, no – it was all cool – until I learned what that bum, Hap, was tellin’ ya! I thought he was sleepin’ it off, but he musta been awake!”
Dan had the impulse to spew out that Hap and he had chatted about nothing of consequence, but suddenly thought better of it. “How would YOU know what Hap was telling me?” Dan’s eyes narrowed.
“Kiki told me—I mean us—I mean she told everyone that you was talkin’ ‘bout what Hap knew about that Sands fella,” Green explained desperately.
Williams’ eyes grew round and his jaw went slack for a moment as he replayed the scene in his head. Of course, it made sense in retrospect – the gorgeous TV personality had been trying to jazz up her show by hinting – or outright lying perhaps – that secrets about a high-profile case were being passed in broad daylight in front of thousands of attentive viewers!
“Kiki,” the detective groaned. That the impropriety-filled remark was not true did not matter. The media would have a field day as truth was sorted from fiction in the matter. “Steve is gonna kill me!” Dan almost launched himself back down the hall to track down the former woman of his dreams, but stopped short as his focus snapped back up to Green. “Boxer – you said YOU were in trouble because of this. Why?”
“Hap n’ me was relaxin’ the other day behind the dumpsters at the Fortune Cookie Inn – it’s just over—”
Impatiently, Williams cut him off. “I know where it is—go on!”
The informant went on to explain that, as Hap dozed off, someone had stepped out of the back of the restaurant, and a car had pulled up within a few feet of their position. A man whom he recognized as a local thug known as Akua stepped out of the sedan and began asking questions about somebody named Sands – what time he got home, what kind of car he drove, and so on. Green slowly tuned into the quiet, tense exchange, and realized that Akua was interrogating a woman – one who knew the intimate details of Walter Sands existence. He’d tensed when he heard the woman insist that when “the time” came that “Walter’s death” would be painless.
Green’s tenor heightened and he spoke faster as he came to the part that frightened him the most. “When I heard that, my leg jerked and accidentally kicked a box.” The man seemed to be chastising himself as he admitted, “They woulda never known we was there if it hadn’t been for that.”
Realizing the importance of his informant’s news, Dan’s anger evaporated, and he softened his tone slightly as pressed the nervous man to continue.
“Akua dragged me to my feet, and asked me what I heard – I acted drunk, and pretended like I didn’t know what he was talkin’ about. He woulda killed me right there, but the woman – pretty little blonde thing – told him to leave me alone.”
The detective – now completely focused on the witness – cut in. “Did you recognize the woman?” Williams suspected the female had to be Walter Sand’s sister, and her distraught image had been front page news for the past few days.
“No, but I know it was his wife – or ex-wife maybe.”
The image of Laura Sands, Walter’s sister, was suddenly replaced in Dan’s mind by the image of Trudy Sands, the developer’s estranged wife, who now was supposedly touring Europe. “What makes you so sure it was his wife?”
“Akua called Sands her hubby – he promised her that as long as he got what was comin’ to him, that Walter would never speak to his attorneys again.”
By now, the officer had completely forgotten that he himself was a fugitive. His eyes grew large as he voiced what he was thinking. “Trudy Sands had her husband kidnapped to prevent him from communicating with his lawyers – maybe to stop him from cutting her out of his fortune in some way…”
“Yeah, maybe… who knows why rich people do what they do,” Boxer agreed quickly, but continued to what interested him more. “The thing that’s got ME worried is that Akua told me that if he learned that I DID hear anything that he would hunt me down and feed me to the sharks. Now that HAP spilled the beans, we’re fish food unless you can help us!”
“Don’t worry, Boxer – you’re safe now,” Williams distractedly assured the man with a pat on his large arm as he considered his next steps. “I’ve gotta get word to Steve – you have to stay here out of sight. I’ll send an HPD unit back for you!” Dan started down the hallway, but the man grabbed a handful of his suit.
“Wait, Danny! Why can’t I can’t I come with you?” The man began to cry again.
The detective turned back and gently unleashed the man’s hands from him as he explained. “Boxer, I’ve got Kiki Chee and her camera crew just outside this building looking for me – if they spot you, Akua will know where you are! Our best bet is for you to wait here. I promise I’ll send somebody for you in just a few minutes. You know I’m good to my word, don’t you?”
Green nodded nervously and stepped backward. “Yeah, okay… just hurry.”
Williams nodded slightly, “I promise!” With the last words of reassurance, he sprinted down the hallway and burst out the door into the sun.
“Ah hah! What have you been up to, Detective?” The accusatory tone was loud and clear as Dan turned to face the petite, and now slightly ruffled Chee.
Ignoring the camera crew, he looked into her face as his mind raced to come up with an explanation. “Sorry, Kiki – a police officer’s day can’t be played out on the pages of a script.” Clearly, the explanation did not mollify the starlet, but Dan had a more important duty at the moment, and the governor would just have to understand. “I need to—” The detective started to explain that he needed to get to a phone or the police radio in his car, but as he glanced directly into the lens of the camera bearing down on him, an epiphany struck him. He needed to communicate with his colleagues at HPD – in fact, he was communicating with them at this very moment. Television sets all over Hawaii – no doubt the one in the HPD break room as well – were tuned into his every move!
Maintaining a purposeful gaze at the camera, he slipped his arm around Kiki, who approached him wearing a miffed and suspicious expression, and addressed the subset of his audience from whom he needed assistance immediately. “Dispatch… Five-0 two… Officer needs assistance – Please send two units to my location!”
Kiki did not pull away from the detective, but she did lean back slightly to study his face. A measure of excitement slipped into her voice as she machine-gunned off several questions. “What does that mean? You’re asking for other police officers to join us? Why? What’s happening?”
“A complete explanation at this time would endanger people’s lives, but I would like to ask you a couple of questions,” Williams responded briskly as his eyes narrowed and left the camera to focus on the woman in his grasp. Chee blinked slightly in surprise – the tables were not turned on her often – as Dan began to stroll slowly.
“Now tell Danny, Kiki… what exactly did you tell our viewers about Mr. Smith?”
The detective sighed and clarified. “Hap – Hap Smith – my informant.”
The officer looked down into the dark, limpid pools looking up at him. “Amazing…” he mused out loud. “A gorgeous, but completely vacuous container…”
“And yet, if you were to smile at me in just the right way and ask a favor, I’d probably walk into a coconut tree to do it.”
At last, the confusion on Chee’s face was replaced with a mischievous smile. “Okay, detective darling, pretty please for Kiki – walk into a coconut tree!”
Dan grinned with a charm rivaling that of the woman who shared the spotlight with him, but his attention was diverted as two HPD units screeched around the corner and came to an abrupt halt in front of him. Delighted that his colleagues at HPD had been paying attention, Williams jogged over to the nearest car, hopped into the passenger side, and locked the doors. As the experienced camera crew backed away and took in the entire scene, Kiki scurried after Dan and began trying to open the back door.
“Danny Williams! Do not think for a minute that you’re getting away from me again!”
The detective ignored the aggravated woman as he quickly filled in the uniformed officer on the fact that Boxer needed to be taken into protective custody, but that he would have to wait until the camera crew’s attention could be diverted. Picking up the radio, he requested a patch through to his boss.
“Danno! Did you shake your tail?” The mirth in McGarrett’s tone was transmitted even through the unusually crackly radio connection.
“Not hardly, Steve – she’s clawing at the window right now, but listen – I’ve got news on who kidnapped Sands! Kiki managed to inadvertently flush out a witness for us.”
“That’s interesting – when I got to the Fresh Poi Café a few minutes ago, that Sands’ houseboy, who’d been sitting quietly watching Live from Hawaii, suddenly made a run for it when he thought Hap was going to spill something important!”
“Wow!” Dan breathed before he continued news from his side of the camera. “That’s exactly what happened here – except in reverse!” The detective proceeded to explain the chain of events which led to his usually-paranoid snitch to approach him on national TV for help.
With the news that Trudy Sands was behind the kidnapping / murder plot, McGarrett signed off quickly with a promise. “Danno, if this lead pans out, dinner will be on me tonight – unless you’ve got a date with someone else!”
Williams’ offered a crooked smile at the dashboard of the police car, but his brow furled as he looked up into the displeased face of Kiki Chee which was almost pressed against the window. “I think yours is going to be the best offer I get today.”
Dan cut the connection, and turned to the officer in the car with him. “Jake, I’ll distract Kiki and company while you guys get in there, grab Boxer, and get him to the Palace wikiwiki!”
“If you want, I’ll distract Kiki while YOU grab the snitch, Danny,” the HPD man grinned.
“The thought crossed my mind, bruddah,” the Five-0 officer returned as he unlocked the car door. No sooner was the door enterable than it swung open swiftly, and the hornet-mad woman positioned herself so that it could not be closed again without crushing her.
“Okay, mister! Out of the car!”
Williams began his distraction mission quickly by bounding out of the car with a smile. “Okay, okay – I’ll talk, Officer Chee!”
“What is going on here? Let us in on the excitement before we run out of time!” Kiki demanded as Dan grabbed her by the elbow and led her away from the building where Boxer was hiding.
With a large measure of relief, the detective realized that the signal her sound man was giving was an indication that their live time was drawing to a close fairly soon. Continuing to escort the woman a few feet up the sidewalk and across the street towards a small park, Dan began to speak to the camera. “What’s going on here, Kiki, is crime solving – it’s not always exciting, but it’s rewarding.”
Chee opened her mouth – probably to demand more specific information -- but Williams quickly continued. “And hey – for you guys out there who tune in every week wondering whether Kiki Chee is really as beautiful as she appears to be on television…” Williams paused long enough to look down at the nonplussed star, who suddenly looked concerned about what the officer gazing at her might reveal. After a pregnant pause, he regained “eye” contact with the lens. “She is,” Dan admitted with a charming smile.
Kiki released an almost-imperceptible sigh before she regained her self-possession. Slipping on her famous alluring smile, she tugged Dan in her direction as they stepped up onto the curb.
“This is for telling me I’m beautiful.” She crooned at her camera audience before she put her arms around the mildly surprised officer’s neck and pressed her lips to his. Williams did not fight the move, which would have been an order of magnitude more pleasant if a zillion people had not been witness to it, but blushed intensely he was certain.
“And THIS—” Chee poked and then pushed Dan hard enough to send him sideways into a blooming Lehua bush. As the officer tumbled into the foliage, she finished. “Is for calling me stupid earlier!” She gave a curt, satisfied nod to the camera. “Vacuum container, huh! It wasn’t a coconut tree, but it will have to do! And just forget about me considering a date with you!”
“A date? Like I would ask you out after meeting you?”
“Ooooo! Like I would ever speak to you again!”
Turning toward the camera, the woman squealed as Dan caught her hand and tugged her down where he rested on the large, red-flowering branches. By the time Frank got the camera focused in on the horizontal couple nestled in the bush, the surprised beauty was only struggling for show.
“I think we’re out of time today,” Kiki gave a mock frown upward as she steadied herself by clutching the detective’s mussed suit-jacket. “So LIVE—”
“From a Lehua Bush!” Dan interrupted, glowing with relief at his upcoming release from the absurd game.
“A Lehua Bush IN HAWAII,” the woman corrected loudly and grimaced slightly as a branch poked her in the side. “This is Kiki Chee with my very naughty Five-0 detective, Danny Williams, bidding you aloha!”
“You didn’t even ASK for her phone number?” McGarrett grinned as he cracked open his fortune cookie. It was seven PM, Five-0’s two top officers decided to eat their standard Chinese carryout dinner in Steve’s office. His officer’s afternoon with the gorgeous starlet had netted Five-0 positive media attention as well as the key to cracking the Sands kidnapping case wide open, but it had clearly burst Williams’ bubble with regard to his interest in Kiki Chee.
Dan shrugged tiredly as he collected the fortune cookie nearest to him and crushed it with one hand. “I’ve found that women don’t tend to want to date guys who’ve called them morons on national television.”
The head of Five-0 snickered. “If she’s that dumb, maybe she’ll forget.” He frowned even as his grin widened. “But then again, my fortune says, ‘Forgive, but do not forget.’”
Dan couldn’t help but grin as he conceded, “Well, at least your fortune makes sense.” He leaned over and placed the fortune in front of his friend.
Money offered will not be enough.
The sound of the outer office door opening and a loud male hello stopped Steve’s reaction. Making his way to the door, Dan glanced at his boss and silently confirmed in the man’s expression that he was expecting no after-hours company.
Before he could tug the door all the way open, a round, animated man perhaps an inch shorter than Williams, slipped into the room and greeted the officers boisterously. “Gentleman, I’m Harry Lynch – the producer of Live from Hawaii!”
The two Five-0 men shared tired expressions with each other as the little man quickly moved to shake their hands. It had been a long day with entirely too much press contact for the taste of either officer. But, with the day turning out as well as it had, McGarrett still felt courteously disposed toward the interloper.
“Haven’t we done enough for your ratings today, Mister Lynch?”
The man laughed as his gaze shifted between the two men before settling on Dan. “Oh yes, indeed, Mister McGarrett! The phone calls we received were nothing short of amazing!” Lynch raved dramatically.
“Phone calls? About what?” Williams’ frowned curiously.
“About you – about Kiki – I mean the both of you – your chemistry – you came off like George and Gracie!”
“George and Gracie,” Dan echoed and released the furl in his brow as a skeptical expression swept over him.
“Yes, yes – the two of you are a ratings smash!”
McGarrett snickered, “Well, Kiki certainly comes off as dumb enough.”
The producer glanced in the lead detective’s direction and nodded enthusiastically. “And I can tell you from experience that it’s NO act!” His face cracked open in a grin as he took another step closer to Williams. “And, Danny, you’re the perfect foil for our dense beauty—”
At this point, Dan started to look disgusted. “A foil!”
“Your expressions were priceless, Danny!” The man winked and continued vomiting his thoughts. “And I think our female audience share will increase if we can team you and Kiki up on a regular basis!”
McGarrett burst out laughing as his friend retorted in surprise, “Mister Lynch, if I had to go through what I went through today with Kiki ever again, the name of the show could change to, ‘Live from Hawaii – Murder!’”
Lynch waved dismissively at the reaction. “We’re talking a LOT of money here, Danny – probably more than you’d make—”
“I’ll think about it – in the meantime, you’ll have to excuse us. We’re working on a very important case.” Dan began pushing the man towards the door.
“Sounds like the story of your life,” Lynch muttered as he vanished out of the office. “I’ll call you,” he murmured through the door.
“Maybe you should consider it, Danno,” the Five-0 chief grinned as Williams turned to face his amused mentor. “You know he’s talking about a lot of money.”
“I think it’s bad luck to disregard a fortune, and mine NOW makes complete sense, Steve!”
Not full yet? The buffet is still open!