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Steve leaned against the doorframe, watching his sister as she tried to figure out what to wear for her date. Given that the contents of her closet were limited to what she'd managed to pack, Steve asked, "Why are you worried? You forget something back at your place in LA?"

Mary turned to him. "Yeah, my entire wardrobe." She rolled her eyes and sighed. "Not that I think this date's going to go anywhere."

"Why not?" Steve was instantly defensive. "He's not a criminal."

Mary shot him a glare. "Great, just what I needed to know: you've already checked out my date."

Steve glared back, unrepentant. Mary attracted trouble wherever she went; Steve had enough experience and training as a leader of people to recognize part of her behavior was at least partly motivated out of her need to be the center of attention. "I just want you to be safe."

Unable to argue with that sentiment without provoking a fight, Mary kicked her suitcase instead. "I knew I should've packed that black dress."

Feeling his phone buzz against his hip, Steve grinned. "Hold that thought." Ignoring Mary's look of confusion, he stepped away to let Kono into the house.

"Thanks," he told Kono as she carried in a couple of shopping bags.

"The things I do for you," Kono muttered. "You owe me."

Steve acknowledged that with a nod. "Let me know if it works out. Catherine's expecting me; make sure Mary locks up when she leaves."

Kono headed upstairs as Steve exited the house as Mary stepped out of her bedroom to question, "Who's at the door – oh. Who are you?"

Shifting the bags slightly, Kono extended her left hand to shake. "Kono Kalakaua, at your service. Your brother figured since I was out replacing the dress I wore at an op we had a week ago, I could pick out something for you at the same time."

Mary eyed her skeptically, then took in what Kono wore: a red tank top, jeans, and black flats, which wasn't much different than Mary's own T-shirt and shorts attire. Shrugging, Mary gestured to the bed, indicating that Kono should put the bags there. "My brother going to pay you back?"

Kono just smiled. "Yeah." She pulled the dress out of the bag, and Mary stared, stunned at the style. The bodice was gray, with a subtle sweetheart neckline, but the rest of the charmeuse dress was an abstract floral print in red, gray, white that flared out from the bodice until it fell into a bubble hem. "There's a plainer black strapless also, if this doesn't suit."

"How'd you figure out my size?" Mary asked, shimmying out of her clothes without a second thought while Kono unzipped the red-and-gray number.

"Steve gave it to me."

Mary paused a moment, then shook her head. "I thought he was going to ask Catherine to see if she had something to spare. I didn't think he'd ask you."

Kono shook her head. "What would fit Catherine wouldn't fit you." She paused. "I didn't think you'd be –"

"As short as I am? I'm the throwback to an earlier generation of McGarretts; Dad always said I inherited his mother's height," Mary answered as she took possession of the dress, grateful that she'd at least changed into a nicer-looking bra and panties than she usually wore. Kono's steady, expectant gaze on her made her abruptly aware that a woman she'd just met had bought her clothes. Instead of being weirded out, though, the way Kono watched her made Mary wish she'd thought to pack some of her nicer lingerie. A thrill shot through her, awakening wants Mary thought she'd chalked up to teenage exploration and rebellion.

All right, Mary, get a grip, she told herself. Kono carried herself like a cop, and Mary had learned to spot one of those a mile away. Slipping on the dress, Mary wasn't surprised to find it was a perfect fit. "Help me with the zipper?"

Kono stepped closer, and zipped up the dress. "Turn around."

"So, think it's good enough to impress a lawyer?" Mary asked as she twirled.

Kono said nothing for a moment, long enough that Mary wondered if the other woman didn't like what she saw. Mary didn't know Kono well enough to know whether she was just imagining the flash of desire on the other woman's face, or if she was misinterpreting the way the room suddenly felt thick with sexual innuendo. "If he doesn't like it, come see me. I'll beat him up for you."

Mary laughed. "That good, huh?"

Kono shrugged. "Well, if I don't, your brother would think I wasn't doing my job."

The line sounded like an excuse to Mary's ears. Living life on a rebel's path had taught Mary the skill of knowing when people were likely to be lying, and her instincts told her Kono wasn't telling the whole truth. "Come on. Tell me the truth. Should I try on the black dress you bought?"

"No, you look fine," Kono said emphatically. "Do you have full-length mirror?"

Mary shook her head. "I begged for one when I was fourteen. Dad said I didn’t need to be that vain."

"Men don't understand."

Mary shared a knowing smile with the other woman. "Nope. So, what else did you get?"

"Wasn't sure if you needed hose, shoes, and jewelry, so I got those too."

"Oh, Kono, you didn't have –"

Kono looked at her levelly. "Steve said you only had one suitcase, and he's paying for everything. When's the last time your brother bought you gifts?"

Mary remembered. Steve had bought her a leather jacket, trying to make up for the fact that he was leaving her behind in Hawaii while he went off to Annapolis. She'd deliberately trashed it, only to find a replacement hanging in her closet. Steve had always tried to be thoughtful, to make up for the fact that their father had buried himself in his job. Now he was proving it again, proving that he still cared, proving that he wasn't the unfeeling bastard Mary had thought him to be for so many years. Unwilling to dwell on what that meant, Mary focused on the present, and on Kono, who had moved to sit on the rattan vanity stool.

"From that look on your face, I'm guessing it's been a while," Kono summarized.

Nodding, Mary moved over to the bed, where Kono had laid out the rest of her purchases. The black dress was there – a classic V-neck – but so was a pack of thigh-high stockings, a pair of black heels, and a simple pearl drop necklace. The thigh-high stockings weren't Mary's usual choice, nor were the three-inch heels, but Mary wasn't going to quibble. She was going to need the height, and she'd always wondered if thigh-highs were comfortable.

"Don't you need a thing to hold these up?" Mary asked as she got them out of the package.

"No, they'll stay up without a garter belt." Wryly, Kono qualified, "Just don't expect them to stay up for more than a few hours. I can't wear them if there's a chance I might have to run after a suspect."

Skeptical, Mary nonetheless sat on the bed and tried them on. The elastic felt fairly secure, and she decided that Kono was probably right. "You, ah, part of my brother's team?"

Kono sat a little straighter. "That a problem?"

Guessing that the other woman probably knew her rap sheet, Mary looked across the bed to her. "No. Not unless you don't want to know someone like me."

Kono chuckled softly. "What, a pretty, smart, independent woman who can make one of the toughest guys I know beg me to do him a favor?"

That made Mary pause and she stared at Kono. Just like that, the sexual tension she'd thought she'd been imagining was back. "You think I’m pretty?"

A smile tugged at Kono's lips. "Oh, yes." Then, as if to prove that Mary was reading too much into the moment, Kono went on, "You're not the only one who's ever rebelled. My whole family's in law enforcement, in some fashion. My one act of rebellion was to be a champion surfer. Almost did it for life, too, until I blew out my knee."

"I thought about doing that," Mary told her, relaxing again. "Except I'm just short enough that I wind up using the same board I had when I was nine, and that's just all sorts of wrong. Barbie is so not my thing anymore. Can you give me a hand while I step into these shoes? I don't want to fall over."

Smiling, Kono rose to brace the shorter woman. "If you're not doing anything tomorrow, come out to surf with me. I'm sure I can find a board that fits you better." Kneeling before Mary, Kono suggested, "Put your hands on my shoulders, then step into the shoes."

A few minutes later, Mary adjusted to her new height while Kono stood, stepping back as she did so. "My feet are going to hate me later, but damn, girl, you're still a giant. How tall are you?"

"Five-nine," Kono replied. "Sorry."

Shrugging, Mary said, "My whole life, I've been looking up at people. Not your fault." She took a deep breath, then took a gamble. Part of her wanted to stay, talk with Kono some more, and figure out what was going on between them, but the part that didn't want to disappoint anyone held Mary to keeping the promise she'd made.

"I told my date I'd meet him at Le Bistro, but this dress isn't going to work if I ride my scooter. Steve promised to drop me off there, but I don't expect him to be back now that you're here."

Kono smiled. "He said you'd need a ride. You’ve been riding a scooter?"

"Yeah. My car's a piece of shit currently in the shop again, but the Vespa's been my baby since high school. I was surprised Dad kept it running; guess he wanted to be sure I had transportation when I came back." Shrugging, she picked up the necklace. "Mind helping me with this too?"

Closing the distance, Kono took the necklace, then stepped behind Mary. Mary felt the slight chill of the metal against her neck, then the whisper of Kono's fingers as she fastened the clasp. For a moment, Kono lingered, a warm press against Mary's back. Mary's breath caught as the moment became fraught with possibility. Just when she thought Kono would kiss her, Kono stepped back.

"You have a cell phone?" Kono asked.

Letting go of the breath she'd been holding, Mary nodded. "On the vanity," she said, pointing to it. "Feel free to add yourself to my contact list."

Picking it up, Kono quickly navigated to the correct screen, adding herself to the contact list. Spying the small purse Mary had intended to use, Kono picked it up as well, then handed it over with the phone. "Ready?"

"Hold that thought," Mary warned. "I need to do my makeup." She set the purse and phone down on the bed, then stepped carefully over to the mirrored vanity. Aware of the woman waiting on her, Mary didn't linger over her application as she sometimes did, playing with different eye shadows.

Taking a seat on the bed, Kono kept the conversation going. "So how did you meet this guy?"

"He was in the elevator when I was headed to my lawyer's office. Turns out he works for the same firm, and well…the last time someone called me shy I was five."

Kono laughed. "I can see that. So, what's his name?"

Discussion about her date led easily into other topics, and the time flew. Soon enough, Mary was at the French restaurant, and wishing, again, she had the guts to dump her date in favor of Kono's company. Mary couldn't bring herself to do it, though; she'd disappointed too many people in her life, and she really wanted to try dating someone safe for a change.

*****

Mary stepped out of the Lexus, waving off her date's offer to walk her up to her apartment. Resolutely turning her back on him, she walked up the stairs, shutting her mind to the fact she'd just lied to her date about where she lived, or that the rest of the evening might not go the way she wanted.

Kono answered her knock promptly. "Problem?" the young police officer asked worriedly.

Mary shook her head. "No. Just –" she took a deep breath " – not the person I wanted after all." She met Kono's eyes. "Can I come in?"

Surprise mingled with curiosity flashed across Kono's face, and she stepped aside to let Mary into the small, but tastefully decorated, apartment. A TV had been paused, midway through a show Mary didn't recognize.

Belatedly realizing that Kono was in a faded T-shirt and pajama shorts, Mary asked, "I'm not interrupting anything?"

Kono chuckled. "Only my umpteenth attempt to watch something one of my cousins swears I should watch." She gestured to the couch. "Have a seat."

Mary sank into the overstuffed couch with a grateful sigh. Slipping off her shoes, she scanned the well-worn furnishings. "Let me guess: someone gifted you with your furniture."

The other woman laughed as she locked the door. "Yeah, my great-aunt died and I got elected." Kono crossed the few steps into the living room and sat down on the other side of the couch from Mary. "It's okay, but I'm saving up for when I can afford a bigger place and have actual room to put stuff."

"Oh? Like what?"

Kono shrugged. "Something that doesn't feel cramped if I have more than three people in it at a time, for starters."

"I got lucky; found a house for rent in Kaimuki. Gavin's List," Mary said.

"Yeah, I know about that," Kono said. "You have to be careful. Never know what kind of people are posting stuff on that site."

Mary met her gaze, reaching across the couch to take her hand. "Careful doesn't always get you far, and besides, I'm much better in person than I'll ever be online."

Kono studied her as the moment hummed with possibility. "You're not what I expected when Steve said he had a sister."

Mary laughed shortly. "Someone had to be the black sheep of the McGarrett family." Unwilling to wait any longer, she leaned forward, and kissed Kono.

Kono didn't respond immediately, and with a pang of disappointment, Mary drew back. "Look, I'm –"

The apology she was going to give died on her lips as Kono wrapped an arm around her, pressing Mary forward so that Kono could kiss her deeply. Returning the kiss with enthusiasm, Mary slid her hands up to touch Kono, who wasn't wearing a bra. Kono shivered at the light caress, and broke the kiss.

"Hold on," Kono said. "No, no, it's not like that," she said, in reply to Mary's confused look. "I want you, don't mistake that."

Hesitantly, sure the moment was gone, Mary asked, "Even though my brother's your boss?"

"Steve's never asked who I date, or what I do in my free time," Kono said fiercely. "I'm willing if you are."

Mary had never been one to turn down a dare. "What did you want, then?" Feeling a bit bolder, Mary looked at the other woman.

"I don't want to ruin your dress; stand up and I'll unzip you."

Understanding, Mary did what Kono asked. The dress fell to the floor, and Kono held Mary's hand while she stepped out of it. "I felt like a princess in that," Mary confessed.

"You looked gorgeous," Kono told her.

Blinking in surprise at the compliment, Mary nonetheless followed Kono into the bedroom. Kono shed her clothing without hesitation, revealing she wore nothing under the T-shirt and shorts. Taking the hint, Mary took off her bra and underwear, leaving her wearing the thigh-high stockings, only to pause when Kono nudged her towards the bed.

Mary sat down on the edge of the bed, and reached for Kono. Kono kissed her, pressing her against the bed until they were both flat against the coverlet, then began to kiss down her neck and shoulders until she had reached her breasts. Mary let out a whimper as Kono expertly licked and tugged gently on her nipples, sending lightning bolts of desire through her. Kono then licked and kissed the rest of the way down Mary's body. Kono licked up and down her thigh, teasing the insides, as Mary spread her legs wider.

"Don't tease," Mary demanded, aching with the need for release.

She felt, more than heard, Kono laugh softly against her skin, before Mary felt Kono move towards her clit, licking the stiff bud until Mary came, shaking and breathless. Using her hands, Kono spread Mary's nether lips wide and continued her oral assault by running her tongue up and down Mary's slit, fucking Mary's cunt with her tongue. Then Kono upped the ante by plunging two fingers into Mary's cunt, curling them slightly as she stroked them in and out.

Breathless, Mary could do nothing but let the second orgasm explode through her, even as she mentally swore she was going to pay Kono back.

For a moment, Mary could only lie there. She thought she heard Kono say, "So pretty," but she wasn't sure. All she knew was Kono was on top of her, and she needed to hold this woman close, give her the same amount of pleasure she'd been given. Mary didn't waste a minute executing her plan, aware that the taller, stronger, cop-trained woman could easily hold her down. Rolling them both over, Mary chuckled at the look of surprise on Kono's face. Kissing her, Mary tasted herself on Kono, and felt a thrill shoot through her when the other woman shivered. Moving downward, Mary explored her new lover's body, touching, tasting, learning what made her moan, what made her breathless, what made her tremble with the fire of passion. For tonight, Mary was not alone, and Kono was everything she needed.

Just before sunrise, Mary slipped on the dress again, contorting to reach the zipper. It took a bit of wriggling, but she managed it. Kono was asleep on the bed, and from the way she breathed, Mary guessed she would out for a while. Mindful of the noise, Mary quietly exited the apartment in her bare feet, the stockings long discarded, then down the stairs, before putting on her shoes.

Staring up at the apartment, Mary wished for a moment that she could keep someone like Kono in her life, but experience had taught her that it was easier if she left first. She doubted seriously that Kono would want her long-term; no one ever had.

Mary walked to the edge of the complex, dialing her cell phone for a taxi service as she did so. She didn't see Kono slip out to watch her leave, disappointment and a new resolve on her face.

Finis 1-10-11