Steve adjusted the shoulder strap of his holster. It was uncomfortable and required more time to draw your weapon; hip holsters were more practical, he’d worn then as a SEAL and as Five-0. Today he actually wore two shoulder holsters for the very reason most law enforcement had stopped: because they were hard to conceal. Steve wanted people to see he was packing.
The door opened as he slipped on his blazer and smoothed it over his black dress shirt.
“Hey, you ready?”
Steve looked up at the sound of Danny’s voice -- and stared. Danny walked over in a perfectly tailored grey suit, hemmed slacks, and a handkerchief in his left suit jacket pocket. It looked like he’d just walked out of a magazine photo shoot. Steve swallowed against his suddenly dry throat.
Danny smirked, eyebrows raised in amusement, like he knew why Steve was staring and was just waiting for him to say something. Steve clenched his jaw, and tore his gaze away, annoyed at his lack of self discipline. “I’m good. This new button mic is pretty impressive,” he said, fiddling with the device.
“Yeah, wish we’d had some of these when I was back in Jersey.”
Danny’s accent was thicker than normal and Steve couldn’t help his grin. “Did you call back home?”
“How’d you guess? Talked to my sis for a couple of hours and it seemed to do the trick.” Danny ran his hands though his hair a few times, his eyes trailing over Steve. “All black is a good look on you.”
“Got to play the part, right?” Steve patted down both Sig Sauers holstered snug at his sides. “You ready...boss?”
He said it on purpose, sliding it in after a pause. Only people who’d worked with Danny long enough would have noticed the way he froze at the mention of the word, mouth slightly open from a quick intake of breath. Steve stored the image away, memorized the way Danny looked at him with such intensity.
Danny cleared his throat. “Come on, we’re going to be late for the meet.”
Steve tugged on his suit jacket, schooling his thoughts, focusing on the role he had to play, to protect his partner.
It’d been dumb luck when a limo with a broken tail light had netted HPD a driver with a bench warrant for unpaid alimony. After a delay of twenty minutes, the loud mouth passenger had lost his temper, got snarky with the patrolmen, and then had his license run for his trouble. Twenty minutes later Duke had called to inform Five-0 the son of a famous east coast mob boss was on the islands.
Steve drove while his eyes darted in the rearview to where Danny sat sprawled in the back seat of the luxury model SUV. “Are you sure there haven’t been pictures circulated of this guy in the last twenty years?”
“Yeah. Lenny Fiscella was supposed to be the legit son of his father. He went to Yale, got his MBA, then sort of disappeared and became a recluse. No one even knows what he looks like.”
Except he had blond hair and blue eyes. Steve’s hands gripped the wheel; they only had chatter from the NYPD Organized Crime Unit regarding Fiscella’s visit to the islands. They were lucky Fiscella hadn’t filed taxes in the last two years so they could hold him over the weekend.
“But now he’s resurfaced to supposedly negotiate some deal with the Los Angeles crime family?”
“The Cosa Nostra.”
“I stand corrected.”
“This is neutral territory,” Danny said with a wave of his hand.
Steve did quick glance back. “If you say so.”
“Aren’t you the one who points out to me almost on a daily bases, how many people prefer to come here to Hawaii?”
“So, it’s a working vacation?” Steve asked, looking in the rearview again.
“Could be. And could you keep your eyes on the road?” Danny fidgeted in his seat and took a deep breath. “And stop worrying, you’re supposed to be the intimating, arrogant, armed muscle.”
“I can do that.”
“It’s not like it should be huge stretch for you from your daily persona.”
Steve didn’t rise to the barb, he had no problem being the silent strong-arm, but he wasn’t about to stop worrying or analyzing every angle of the op. This was Danny impersonating someone he’d never seen before, meeting with a dangerous wing of the mob in a territorial dispute over drug routes through the islands. So, yeah, Steve had every right to be on edge, because they were going into this blind, and the only thing between Danny and a set of thugs in suits was Steve.
Steve parked the SUV and got out to survey the sidewalk, the cars parked a few feet away, and all the angles a sniper could use from the surrounding rooftops. It wasn’t the most secure site, but maybe these guys really thought they were on vacation. He noted their two suspects and their respective security were waiting for them at the agreed upon outdoor café.
“I’ve got both targets in sight,” he said for Chin and Kono. He knew they were listening and observing in an office at the bar next door, but neither Steve nor Danny had earwigs in, so as to avoid detection. The mics in a button in each of their shirts would provide one-way communication. “We’re about to head to the meet.”
Steve opened the door for Danny to climb out of the back seat.
“You know, I could get used to this,” Danny said with a grin.
“Enjoy it while you can.”
Steve kept close to Danny, walking two steps ahead of him, scrutinizing anyone who looked their way. Danny walked with a suaveness of a man used to having control; Steve wished he could actually enjoy observing it a little more.
“Marino Morrell and Dante Elieso are part of the new generation of made guys,” Danny said quietly. “This is going to be more like a business lunch than something out of the movies.”
“So, we’ll be eating loco moco instead of pasta?”
“Who said anything about you eating.”
The men waiting on them were in casual business attire, Morrell was bald with a mustache and white polo shirt. Elieso was tanned with curly dark hair and he wore a green dress shirt, the first three buttons undone to show off a nice gold chain. They were both shadowed by their own hired muscle, each man standing next to their boss. It took Steve seconds to determine ten different ways to incapacitate them.
Steve escorted Danny to the front patio as the two body guards approached. Steve put a hand on Danny’s shoulder, keeping him a safe distance while Steve placed himself between Danny and the other men.
The first goon held out his hand to stop Steve from getting closer. “You know the drill.”
The second goon flanked Steve at his right side and waited. Steve flicked his eyes between them. “You know I’m armed, I know you’re armed. So why don’t we move on.”
“Hey.” Morrell waved his hand. “There’s no need for all of that. Come on, have a seat.”
Steve didn’t budge until both guards returned to their position beside their bosses.
Danny walked toward the table. “Sorry about my friend,” he said, gesturing at Steve. “The military beat the civility out of him.”
Danny crossed his leg and sat casually in his chair. He must have been hot with the sun beating down, but he kept on his jacket since it hid his Heckler & Koch.
The three men sat staring at each other when Morrell rested his elbows on the table and leaned forward. “So, you’re Andrew’s boy. Whatever happened to holing up somewhere to be a monk?”
“Actually I live in a penthouse apartment in Brooklyn where no one bothers me. Just because I prefer to keep to myself and not to have my mug on social media, doesn’t mean I’m some nut bar.”
Morrell and Elieso exchanged skeptical looks and Danny tapped his fingers against the table. “I have an appreciation for privacy. Sue me. But my pops is ill and my cousins are idiots. I’ve traveled five thousand miles in a cramped tin can to this tropical hellhole because the both of you jacked up the rates for transporting all my family’s goods through the LA port without even so much of a conversation.” Danny sat back and loosened a button to his shirt. “So, if you could pay me the courtesy of a chat?”
“And what about Tommy?” Morrell asked, swirling a glass of water. “Does he approve of you sitting in for the family?”
“You talkin’ about my father’s cat?” Danny glanced between both guys, acting insulted. “Seriously?”
Elieso laughed and Morrell sat back, relaxed. “My apologies, we needed to make certain assurances that we were indeed talking to Andrew’s son.”
Steve didn’t remember anything about a cat and he wondered what contacts Danny had reached out to in preparation for the assignment.
“And I’m sure you called your contacts about my trip. Probably checked on my flight.” Danny smiled cool and collected. “Want to look at my license too?”
“That’s unnecessary. How about we all have a drink, hmm?” Elieso signaled the waiter and soon there were three glasses of bourbon, neat, on the table. “Salute.”
Danny downed the shot while Steve stood sentry, all three men making small talk about sports or some random thing in the news. And food, Steve couldn’t believe how long was spent arguing over who had the best baked ziti in the Bronx. It was a good thing Danny vacationed so much in New York when he lived in Jersey.
“You kidding me?” Danny gestured wildly. “The sauce at Sal’s is too sweet and there’s not enough oregano.”
“You’re right,” Elieso said with a big belly laugh. “But they let it simmer for hours.”
Steve spent more of his time casually observing their suspects, their security, and all the people walking around outside, constantly alert for danger. It reminded him when he’d been in charge of security for high level talks between rival tribes in Afghanistan, the outcome so critical; he’d been pulled from an op to oversee things.
But this was Danny and not some warlord and Steve kept himself at the highest alert. A young couple walked by while they were arguing and Steve kept them in his line of sight, nothing above his suspicion. He watched a guy walk his dog and stop a few feet across from them as he tied his shoe, Morrell’s bodyguard also watching him until he left.
Steve continued observing and listening, expression neutral as Danny laughed, smile large and wide. “Are you freaking kidding me? How can you call Southside Slim’s a decent bite to eat?”
And while he listened, Steve couldn’t help wonder what would have happened with Danny’s career if he’d stayed at HPD. Being a transfer, he could have done a lot of undercover work; he was a natural. Maybe rise through the ranks faster given his reviews would be from the HPD and not a division outside the department. Would Danny be a Detective Lieutenant by now if he wasn’t with Five-O?
Morrell took a napkin to wipe the sweat from his bald head. “You sure know a lot about the south side of the Bronx for someone who doesn’t like to go outside.”
Steve readied himself, watching for slightest hint of malicious intent.
“It’s called using a computer. Even got this awesome carry-out app on my phone,” Danny said fishing it out.
“All right, no need,” Elieso interrupted. The tension in Steve’s body slowly relaxed while Elieso took a drink of water. “I think we should get down to business.”
Danny considered Elieso for a moment and pursed his lips in thought. This was the most delicate part, the NYPD Organized Crime Unit had little intel about the beef between both syndicates, only that it involved an increased ‘fee’ for a drug route.
“The tax rate hike on my supply chain is unacceptable,” Danny said without preamble. “But I’m willing to negotiate an increase that’s within reason.”
“Then let’s start with discussing the way you muscled in on our scrap deal,” Elieso demanded, crossing his arms over his hairy chest, the sun glinting off his gold chain.
Danny’s face betrayed nothing as his brain had to be going in a million directions trying to figure out what Elieso was talking about. He leaned back with a serious expression, Elieso and Morrell watching closely.
“Your recycling contract with the city,” Danny said with no hint of a question.
Elieso glanced at Morrell in obvious frustration before glaring at Danny. “You don’t think we’d notice when you supported the merger of Big Green Industries? What do you take us for?”
“Smart businessmen?” Danny all but shrugged at them, oozing self confidence. “Profits are down because oil’s cheap. Who thinks recycling bottles is so important when you can fill your gas tank without it costing an arm and a leg? Mergers are good for consolidation.”
Steve knew Danny only had NYPD’s brief on Elieso and Morrell’s operations and his own knowledge regarding organized crime business practices to bullshit his way through this conversation. It was as impressive as it was nerve-wrecking.
“Not when it means we’ll lose our part of the action because an East Coast Waste Management Company bought out our local affiliate.” Morrell stared hard at Danny. “What do you have on Harper? He was a no vote until last month.”
Who the hell was Harper? A local politician, some cooperate big wig? Steve hated this, the inability to wear an earwig preventing Chin and Kono from goggling and feeding them the needed info.
“Look mom, its Grace’s dad.”
Steve’s pulse jumped and he looked over at a twelve or thirteen year old girl in a sundress. Her mom started to walk over. Damn it.
The young teen waved at Danny. “How are you, Mr. Williams?”
Elieso looked from the mom and daughter to Danny, suspiciously. Danny glanced at the girl perplexed, it was a convincing expression, eye brows furrowed in confusion, his frown long.
But the girl’s mother had to wave too, shattering the illusion this could be a misunderstanding. “Hi, Danny. Are you going to the school fundraiser on Monday?”
Morrell glared a hole in Danny with a stare, his henchman inching closer to his boss. Danny remained steadfast cool, but Steve could read him, knew by the set of his jaw that Danny was worried about Grace’s friends. The two ladies stopped a few feet away, waiting for Danny to answer, a metal rail separating them from the patio and the sidewalk.
Elieso nodded at his bodyguard who watched the women approach, his movements twitchy. “A school fundraiser sounds like a blast, Danny.”
Elieso began to rise to his feet, hand reaching inside his pants pocket. Steve’s fingers rested on the butt of his Sig, ready to draw it. Elieso and Morrell were suspected of ordering several brutal murders in the last year and Steve knew they were capable of violence.
Danny gestured for calm. “Everyone easy, take it easy.” Then he nodded at Grace’s friends, voice commanding. “Charlotte, you and Alicia need to turn around and go the other way. Now.”
Grace’s friends complied and Danny kept his hands up, placating, voice even. “There’s no need to do anything impulsive, we can all walk away.”
Steve kept his right hand on his weapon, ready to draw the second one.
Danny watched Steve from his peripheral vision, his expression darkening. “That means you, too, Mr. Hair Trigger.”
Elieso and Morrell both eyed Steve, their hired muscle also scrutinizing Steve’s movements. Four against two were good odds in Steve’s book. Steve knew Chin, Kono and Lou were close by, waiting on a signal from him.
Danny looked at Elieso, whose hand still rested at his hip. “Even if you had the world’s tiniest weapon hidden in there, just leave it alone.”
Danny glanced over at the two goons who Steve thought looked way to eager to get into some action. “And I’m sure you guys practice shooting paper targets somewhere, maybe even clean your weapons once a year or something. But trust me, this lunatic,” Danny nodded at Steve, “the Navy made sure he had plenty to shoot at. He cleans his weapons once a week; it’s actually soothing to him. So, let’s all put our ego and bravado away and go home.”
Morrell slapped at Elieso’s arm. “Come on." He looked at Danny with a gleeful smile. “It’s a beautiful day to do paperwork, huh?”
“Absolutely fantastic,” Danny replied.
“Don’t worry boys, I’ll pay for lunch,” Elieso said, moving his hand from his front pocket to reach into his back one to pull out his wallet. He threw down a hundred dollar bill on the table. “Aloha, officers.”
“Pish de chuss en de yom,” Danny said with a smile.
Elieso flicked the edge of his fingers under his chin in a familiar rude gesture. Morrell chuckled and both men walked away cocky and self assured.
Steve wanted to wipe the grins right off their faces.
“Come on,” Danny said, grabbing Steve’s elbow. “Let’s get out of here.”
Steve followed Danny until they met with Chin and Kono, waiting around the corner to discuss their next steps.
“We can monitor their calls, see who they contact,” Chin suggested.
But the chances of Elieso and Morrell slipping up were slim to none, and by Monday, Lenny Fiscella would be cut lose.
“Kono, have HPD keep them under surveillance,” Steve said. “We’ll see if any of the wiretaps give us anything good and go from there.”
Steve wasn’t happy, but he knew they didn’t have many options left. Still frustrated at a wasted opportunity, he walked toward the SUV with the intent of driving it very fast on the highway. Going to the shooting range sounded like a great way to blow off steam before writing a report on today’s failure.
“You have that look.”
Steve scowled at Danny. “What look?”
“The one that says I’m going to be dealing with explosions or that sour mood of yours for the rest of the day.”
“I’m pissed, aren’t you pissed?”
“Of course I’m ticked off; I’d like nothing better than to see those two schmucks eat bad prison food for the rest of their lives, but this is how a lot of undercover work goes. Things don’t pan out right, you don’t get the mark, they don’t let you in their inner circle, it rains during the wrong night.” Danny shrugged. “And don’t get me started on how hard it is to get in bed with made guys. It’s nearly impossible, best you can hope for is to work your way up the ladder after a couple of years as a low level thug.”
Steve was still annoyed but he tried to reign in his frustration, knowing how much a long shot this had been. He sighed, crossing his arms. “What did you say to Elieso by the way?”
Danny gave him a smug look. “Go take a piss in the sea.”
Steve felt his chest tingle with pride and he couldn’t help staring at Danny in those clothes, wondering what he’d been like back in Jersey, if his attitude would have bigger, his mouth louder.
“You’re staring, babe.”
“You look really good in that suit,” Steve blurted, his eyes going wide as soon as the words came out.
Danny smirked, stuffing his hands into his pants pockets. “Good. It took me like two hours to pick out the right one to impress a guy who has shiny brass buttons on his military uniform.”
Steve felt his cheeks flush. “You were trying to impress me?”
“You weren’t trying to do the same thing with this sultry black on black ensemble?” Danny moved into Steve’s personal space. “And packing two Sigs?” He stepped even closer. “Were you going to draw both your weapons on those two buffoons like in some action movie?”
“If I had to. Yeah. That’s my job.”
“You’re not my bodyguard anymore.”
“I’ll never stop protecting your six.”
“That’s damn right romantic coming from you,” Danny said, running a finger down the front of Steve’s shirt.
Every hair on the back of Steve’s neck stood up and a heat surged through his veins. He grabbed Danny by his tie, wanted to yank him over, but he gently tugged on it instead, Danny eagerly following. Steve opened his mouth against Danny’s, the kiss hot and needy. Danny grunted and shoved Steve against the SUV door.
Steve wrapped the crook of his arm around Danny's neck, and with his other hand he began stroking his collarbone, his pecs--until he found the edge of Danny's shirt and pulled it out from his pants so he could enjoy the warm skin underneath. Danny's muscles shivered under Steve’s roaming fingers.
“Car,” Danny whispered. “Get inside the car, now.”
“SUV,” Steve mumbled back. Danny growled at him to hurry up.
Steve fumbled with the keys, dropping them to the ground before grabbing them again. He unlocked the backseat door and climbed inside, crabbing backward in the seat.
“You have on too many clothes,” Danny said, hot on his heels, slamming the door closed.
Steve didn’t waste any time. There was just enough room to maneuver and he removed his jacket, banging an elbow in the process, the Sig on his left side digging into his ribs until get got rid of both weapons. It was dark, but he could tell Danny was watching while he struggled out of his own jacket, his weapon’s holster sliding down the seat and onto the floor.
Steve lay on his back to remove his shirt and Danny took advantage of the tight space by crawling on top of him.
“Is that how it’s going to be?” Steve asked, chest heaving.
“Yes it is, you control freak.”
Danny sprawled on top of Steve as if to prove his point, pressing his lips to Steve’s, pushing his tongue inside Steve’s mouth. It wasn’t a surprise, to Steve, how easy it was to kiss Danny, how in sync they were.
Steve deepened the kissing, making it slow and languid, wanting it to be good for Danny. And for a moment, Steve forgot where they were, the risk of being caught, because fuck, Danny was amazing at this--fingers unbuttoning Steve’s shirt, hands all over Steve’s chest, his abs, stroking his skin, making him hard.
“God, Danny, I’ve been wanting this...I...”
“Shhhhsssh, I know.”
Steve rubbed his hands down Danny’s strong back, cupping his ass, kissing Danny hungrily as his fingers moved around until he found Danny’s belt.
“You’ve never know how to take things slow,” Danny growled. “I still have on my shirt, not that it matters.”
Steve responded by unzipping Danny’s fly, sliding his fingers behind his waistband, and taking Danny’s cock in his hand. Danny groaned in pleasure and Steve worked him slowly, fingers sliding over him, gliding down to gently squeeze his balls every few strokes. Danny just fell apart, his breathing ragged, making the most desperate sounds from the back of his throat. And Steve eased off just when he thought Danny was on the verge.
“You bastard,” Danny groaned. “You beautiful bastard.”
But Danny demonstrated he was a talented man, still grunting from Steve’s attention while finding Steve’s belt, undoing it and the damn zipper with several desperate, clumsy attempts. He found Steve’s already hard cock and began rubbing his thumb over the head.
Steve panted, feeling every beautiful stroke; then he started to lose it when Danny pulled their cocks together. Danny's grip was firm; the gun calloused pads of his fingers created ridges of sensation. Steve squeezed his eyes shut; God, it felt so good. He couldn’t stop thrusting into Danny's fist, wanting more.
Danny whimpered as they held onto each other and rutted desperately, Steve rubbing up against Danny's belly, Danny leaving slick trails all across Steve's hip.
Danny gasped, and he began to shake while Steve clutched Danny's shoulders. "I've got you, I’ve got you."
Danny groaned, happy and blissed out, and that more than anything sent Steve over the edge, rubbing up against Danny's belly until he came.
Steve didn’t know how long he stayed still, feeling punch-drunk on fading sensations, Danny’s fingers lazily running through his hair.
“Danny,” Steve said, sucking in the best breath he could with another person across his chest.
“Hmmmm,” Danny mumbled, using one of their shirts to clean between them.
Steve sighed, relaxed. Danny finally lifted his head, looking at him just a few inches away from his face. They stared at each other a moment, Steve oddly abashed, grinning.
Steve winked to break the tension and Danny rolled his eyes. "Oh my God. You’re so impressed with yourself.”
“‘Maybe’ he says.”
Steve ran his hand up and down Danny’s back, still smiling.
Danny chuckled. “You know what we forgot?”
Steve released a tired sigh, feeling so very, very lazy. “What?”
Danny laughed, resting his head on Steve’s chest, whispering in his ear. “The button mics. Hope Chin and Kono enjoyed the show.”