Danny felt Steve stir and managed to pry his eyes open. The room was flooded with sunlight, Danny guessing it was some time before noon.
"Wha'?" Danny mumbled when Steve untangled his arms and legs from Danny's.
"Go back to sleep," Steve whispered into his ear.
"Where are you going?" Danny asked, squinting at him. He had left the bed and was rummaging for a shirt and shorts. "You aren't swimming." There was a knock on their bedroom door, Steve gesturing toward it. "Oh."
"Yeah," Steve said. "Pretty sure it's Chin."
"Uhn," Danny replied, pulling the sheet up to his chest as Steve unlocked the door.
"Hey," Steve said when the door was open, Chin on the other side.
"I'm sorry to…interrupt," Chin said.
"You aren't," Steve said. "We were sleeping."
Chin nodded at that. "Stan has been trying to reach the Governor all morning. No one knows where she is."
"No one?" Danny asked, considerably more awake. He scooted up the bed, frowning over at Chin and Steve.
"No one. We've contacted her secretary. Lieutenant Governor Denning. The Captain of her security detail. Captain Lloyd was about to call us when Stan got him on the phone," Chin said.
"Great," Danny said. "You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?"
"That Wo Fat's behind her disappearance?" Steve asked, Danny nodding.
"That's our assumption," Chin said. "Captain Lloyd asked if we could meet him at the residence. I said we'd be there in half an hour."
"All right," Steve agreed. "We'll dress then we'll be ready."
"Wait. One of us needs to stay here. We can't leave Kono to defend the house by herself," Danny said.
Chin and Steve traded a look before glancing back at Danny.
"Oh no no no. I'm notstaying here. I am all too familiar with the deep shit you get yourself into when I'm not the back-up. You can forget that idea right now," Danny told Steve.
"We could wake up Mick," Steve suggested, not directly addressing Danny's mini-rant. What would be to the point?
"No. It's broad daylight. He needs to stay cold and asleep. Plus he's taking the overnight shift with the vampires," Danny reminded him.
"Are any of the other Amaranthines veterans?" Chin asked.
"A few are experts with guns," Steve said, considering it. "With Kono here, they should be safe."
"Kono's not staying here," she announced as she barged into their bedroom. "What? Because I'm the girlI have to stay behind? Try it and I will kick all your asses."
"Okay. So Kono won't be here," Steve conceded. He knew better than to cross Kono when she had that particular expression on her face. Not if he wanted to remain a man. Because she would rip them off if he tried to make her stay behind.
"I'll call Kawika," Chin said. "He'll bring some Kapu and not ask questions."
Steve nodded at that. "Excellent. If they figure out that we're Amaranthines, they're not going to tell anyone. Call Kamekona too. There's a lot of people here to feed."
"Roger that," Chin agreed.
"Get dressed," Kono ordered, waving at Steve and at Danny. "We need to go."
"Could you go back downstairs, please?" Danny requested, frowning at her.
"Why? You think you got something I've never seen before?" she asked, her arms crossed over her chest.
"I know you've seen it all before. But I don't necessarily need you seeing it right now," Danny said.
She snorted and with a defiant toss of her hair, left their bedroom.
"Brah," Chin said, shaking his head.
"What? Why do I need her to see me naked?" Danny asked with an edge of indignation.
"Don't taunt her," Steve said as he traded his tank top and shorts for a polo and cargo pants. "Get dressed already."
Danny climbed out of bed and pulled on his clothes, Chin too engaged in talking to Steve to spare him even a glance. Not that it was of any consequence what Chin might or might not see. They'd all been undressed together enough times that there were no remaining secrets.
"We need to call Max," Steve said. "Mick's going to need more blood than Danny can provide alone."
"What about the other vampires?" Danny asked as he tried to get his hair into a semblance of order. This is what happened when Steve fucked him brainless and he went to sleep with wet hair. The entire world was going to know what went down in their bedroom.
"They'll probably bring their own supply. We need extra blood at any rate. Max should be able to get it for us," Steve said.
"Are we going to tell him the truth?" Chin asked sensibly.
"We'll have to," Steve said. "He'll know once he's here anyway."
"How has it been a secret up to now?" Danny asked, abandoning his hair. "Pretty soon all of Hawaii will know."
"That's a slight exaggeration," Steve said. "Kawika probably already knows. He's close friends with Naolkupa. And do you think Max will be surprised?"
"Hard to know what surprises Max," Danny pointed out as they left the bedroom to go downstairs.
"Danno. Daddy," Grace squealed in excitement, making her way through the crowded living room to hurl herself at them. "Where have you been?"
"Danno fed Mick. He needed to sleep," Steve explained as he scooped up Grace. Danny could feel everyone turning to watch them but mostly he ignored them.
"You okay, Daddy?" Grace asked, reaching over to touch Danny's cheek with a small hand.
"I'm fine, baby. The sleep helped."
"Can I see?" she asked.
He didn't know why she wanted to look at the remnants but it wasn't disturbing. Nor especially interesting. He pulled his shirt sleeve above the mark, showing her the oval bruising with the four raw punctures. "That's it."
She touched it gently, patting his arm. "Do you want a princess band aid?"
"No thanks," he said with a smile just for her. "I'll be fine without one."
"'Kay," she said. "Auntie Kono said you are leaving?"
"The Governor is missing," Steve said loud enough for everyone to hear him. He backed up one step, standing high enough so all could see. "We're going to investigate. Chin is calling Kawika for back-up."
There was a murmur of approval at that news, Naolkupa approaching. "I'll fill him in," she assured everyone at once.
"We're calling Max to bring blood. The rest of the vampires will be here shortly after sundown. I'm sure they'll bring their own supply but Mick wasn't able to bring his. Kamekona is being called, to cook. Naolkupa, you'll be responsible for the protection rotation while we're gone?" Steve said, looking down at her.
"Of course I will. I will watch this one as well," she said, accepting Grace from Steve's arms.
"Does anyone have any questions?" Danny asked, joining Steve on the step. There were a couple of logistical questions, someone suggesting that they might need additional ammunition. Danny didn't think it was possibly an issue but that they would ask Kamekona to bring some when he came. The Kapu would supply their own.
Jenna came to the bottom step, looking up at Steve and Danny. "I requested tracking of her last known whereabouts. I sent all the coordinates to your phones."
"Thank you," Danny said. "You can always reach us on our cell phones. The first priority is the safety of the Moiety. We'd like the house left standing but we can always rebuild it if we have to."
"And the basement is reinforced. Send the children if you are at all worried. They can wake up Mick when they get down there," Steve said, a light hand on Grace's brown hair. She was chewing her bottom lip, looking at him like it was she could do not to cry.
"We should send away the mortals," someone suggested in a sad, considering tone. That erupted in a loud, heated argument, the mortals triumphing, much as Danny had known they would. There was no way he would have left Steve under these circumstances.
"All right," Steve said. "We don't have any way of knowing when we'll be back. We'll call when we're on our way. If all else fails and you need help, call 9-1-1."
"We will," Naolkupa assured him. "Good hunting."
"Thank you," Steve said, leaving the steps and accepting his TAC vest. Kono and Chin already had theirs on, Danny pulling on his as they made their way to the front door. They stopped long enough to kiss Grace before they all left, making an effort not to turn around and look back into the house.
"It's going to be fine, brahs," Chin told them. "We have reinforcements on the way."
"I know," Danny sighed. "It's just…."
"I totally understand," Chin said, Kono nodding in sympathy. "We'll meet you at the residence."
"Right," Steve said, climbing into the truck as Danny got in the passenger side. Chin and Kono left in Chin's black SUV, Steve and Danny following right behind.
"This is a bad business, as Grace would say," Danny said, looking out his window at the world that seemed calm and peaceful. He felt a little sorry for any of their neighbors who might be caught in the crossfire but there was nothing to be done. Maybe having the Hālāwai at their house wasn't such a good idea. Maybe they should have gathered at Naolkupa's instead. It was isolated. Easier to defend. Reinforced by the mountains above her house…cave…whatever.
"Danny," Steve said sharply. Danny turned to look at him, frowning. "I've been talking to you for five minutes. Where have you been?"
"Worrying about the neighbors," Danny admitted. "Our house may not have been the best choice."
"Maybe not. But it will be hard for any attack to go unnoticed. And we have the basement shelter."
"Yeah," Danny agreed. "What were you saying?"
"Did you check the tracking Jenna sent?"
"The Governor's last known whereabouts was her residence. She arrived last night at 10:23. Directly before that, she was in her office, meeting with Lieutenant Governor Denning. The tapes from the residence don't show her leaving or anyone entering," Danny said. His voice was tight, recognition of what the lack of visual evidence represented. "It is Wo Fat, isn't it?"
"Sure seems that way," Steve had to agree. "Otherwise they'd be a tape of her leaving."
"He needs to be put down," Danny said.
"That's why we have the hemlock. Once we find him, we'll take care of him."
"You got that right," Danny said, putting his phone on speaker and dialing Max who answered on the third ring.
"Detective. How may I assist you today?" Max asked.
"I need a huge favor," Danny said, not seeing any reason to beat around the bush.
"I will provide whatever help I may," Max told him. Danny could hear the frown in his voice.
"I need you to take as much blood as you can procure to our house," Danny said as casually as he could. He didn't want to make it sound like a huge deal so maybe Max wouldn't freak out over it.
"That's a somewhat…unusual request," Max finally said. "May I inquire as to the reason?"
Danny glanced over at Steve who shrugged one shoulder. "We're hosting a vampire who needs to eat."
There was complete silence on the other end, Danny wondering if the line had gone dead. But finally Max cleared his throat. "A…vampire."
"A vampire," Danny confirmed. "Have you heard that Laura Hills was killed last night?"
"I have heard a rumor to that effect. No one has consulted me about performing the official autopsy."
"There won't be an autopsy," Danny said. "Her body won't be recovered."
"I do not wish to know how it is you are in possession of this information, do I?" Max asked.
"No you do not. The vampire came to help me and Steve investigate her death. He was in a hurry to get here so didn't bring his own blood supply. Right now, he's asleep in our basement. In the freezer. When he wakes up, he's going to need blood to eat."
"I see," Max said although Danny was fairly confident Max did not see at all.
"That's why we need you to take the blood to our house. The other vampires are coming after sundown but will bring their own."
"The other vampires," Max said in that considering tone he always took when he was trying to figure out something that didn't quite make sense to him.
"Yes. Five more are coming to help protect the house. They'll join the Amaranthines who are already there."
There was another lengthy pause before Max spoke again, sounding tentative. "Amaranthines."
"Yes. Immortals. They exist just like vampires. In fact, Steve is immortal," Danny said, Steve shrugging.
"Commander McGarrett is an Amaranthine," Max said as though hearing it in his own voice would help it make sense.
"Yes he is. So is Grace. I'm not. The 13 Amaranthines who live in Hawaii are at our house, except Steve. We have reason to believe that Wo Fat is behind Laura Hills' death and intends to make the Amaranthine moiety his next target. That's why the vampires are coming to help."
"I see," Max said again. "Perhaps in addition to supplying blood to the vampire, I will bring with me medical equipment. If the house is to become a target, medical attention will be required."
"Good point," Danny agreed. "Thank you. You'll be able to get the blood, right?"
"That will pose no difficulties," Max assured him, sounding a little less distressed. "Is there anything else I need to provide?"
"I don't think so," Danny said. "Kawika and the Kapu are coming to help guard the moiety. Kamekona is going to cook and bring extra ammunition."
"Very well," Max said. He sounded resigned to this new world he had been suddenly, unwillingly thrust into.
"Oh. And Max," Danny said, an edge of amusement in his voice.
"Yes?" Max replied, all weary resignation in the one word.
"The vampire looks almost exactly like Steve," Danny informed him. They could hear Max sigh. What else was there for him to do?
"Very well," Max repeated. "I will take the blood and medical supplies. I will see you when you return home."
"Thanks, buddy. We owe you," Steve said.
"That is a correct assertion," Max said before disconnecting.
Danny could only smile ruefully at Steve. Max was going to help whether he completely understood or not.
Steve glanced over at Danny where Danny was unconsciously rubbing over the bruise and punctures on his left arm. "The mark hurting you?"
"Huh?" Danny responded, turning to focus on Steve.
Steve nodded his head toward Danny's arm. "Where he bit you? Is it hurting you?"
"No, not really. Why?" Danny asked, looking down at the purpling mark.
"You've been touching it almost non-stop," Steve said. If there was the slightest hint of reproach, Danny wasn't going to mention it.
"I didn't know I was," Danny said, shaking his head in reinforcement. "It was just so strange. Besides making me hard like a rock. Which…clearly you were aware of. It was… I don't know."
"He told you it was intimate," Steve reminded him.
"Yeah. You never fed a vampire, right?" Danny asked.
"No. But Mick's described it to me on more than one occasion. Are you sorry you agreed?"
"No," Danny said slowly. "Except now I feel…indebted to him. Which makes no sense. I don't owe him anything."
"You don't," Steve said. "Am I going to have to worry about you climbing into the freezer?"
Danny turned his head to study Steve's profile. He was very intentionally following the movement of Chin's car, refusing to meet Danny's piercing blue gaze. "You are kidding, right?"
"You wanted him. You said so yourself," Steve said in a very tight, controlled voice.
"Babe," Danny said, reaching over to take his right hand. "I'm sorry you're jealous. But there is no reason for you to be. There is one person and only one person I'm interested in sleeping with. And as far as I know, you don't sleep in a freezer. If you decide to start, I'll join you. Don't think I'll enjoy it but I'm wherever you are. You know that, right?"
"You wanted to fuck him," Steve said. The note of insecurity in his voice was nearly enough to break Danny's heart.
"At that second, yeah, maybe. Not once you touched me. Don't you think the fact that he is nearly your spitting image has a little to do with my attraction?" Danny asked gently.
"He doesn't look that much like me," Steve said, making Danny laugh.
"All right. But let me tell you that if I saw either of you from a distance of 100 miles, I'd still know which was you. You are the only one I'm in love with."
"You can't see 100 miles," Steve said, his mood lighter.
"Hyperbole, babe. To prove a point," Danny said as they pulled up to the gates of the residence. There were at least 10 police cars already there, lights going, a dozen police, several dogs, and a couple of cars marked SBI.
Steve pulled in behind Chin's car, parking on the edge of the lawn. Captain Lloyd came up to them, waiting as they were all out of their cars.
"Commander. Thank you for meeting us here. With Five-0's help, surely we'll find her," the Captain said.
"Any evidence to explain her disappearance?" Steve asked.
"Not yet. We have a team upstairs in her office. Nothing's been disturbed except one drawer in her desk. There were photos in the drawer, most of which are still there," the Captain said, looking up at Steve.
"What were the pictures of?" Danny finally asked when the Captain didn't make any attempt to explain.
"The Commander," Lloyd said.
"Steve?" Chin asked, looking from the Captain to Steve and back. "What is in the photos?"
"Nothing incriminating," the Captain assured them. "There are pictures of you stopping for lunch. Several of the two of you together. There is one that includes your daughter. Mundane, ordinary activities."
"What sense does that make?" Kono asked, her confusion reflecting that of the entire team.
"Can we see them?" Danny asked.
"They are still upstairs. The CSI tech didn't move them once the determined what they were. The Lieutenant Governor is upstairs as well."
"All right," Steve said, leading his team inside and up the stairs. The Governor's home office was crowded with techs combing every inch for any evidence to explain her mysterious disappearance. "Lieutenant Governor," Steve said when they stopped in front of Denning.
"Commander. Thank you for bringing your team to help with the investigation. This is your only priority."
"Understood, sir," Steve acknowledged. "Captain Lloyd said there are photos of me in her drawer?"
Denning used his handkerchief to pull open the second drawer and took out a stack two inches high of printed photos. Steve picked them up after pulling on his gloves, going through them as Danny, Kono, and Chin looked on.
"This is ridiculous. Look, here you are buying milk at the Pick 'n' Pay. What the hell?" Danny asked.
"I can't imagine why these pictures exist, sir," Steve said to Denning, unable to do anything but shake his head.
"Where were you after 10:30 last night?" Denning asked in a seemingly casual tone. But Steve could see there was nothing at all casual about the question.
"Are you accusing Steve of something, sir?" Chin asked, stepping closer. Kono did as well until they were all standing shoulder to shoulder.
"I am not. I am simply trying to understand why Governor Jameson has a pile of photos of Commander McGarrett. Perhaps he knew of them and was determined to destroy the evidence."
"The evidence of what?" Danny asked. "That he occasionally pays too much for milk when we run out?"
Steve sighed quietly. Danny could see the wheels turning and wondered how much he was going to be forced to admit. And once he did, would Denning believe him? Would he be able to accept that there were Amaranthines and vampires in Hawaii?
"It's a reasonable question for him to ask, under the circumstances," Steve said finally, not happy but resigned to the fact that the truth was going to have to come out. "If we can clear the room of everyone but us, I'll be able to shed some light on where I was last night."
"Clear the room?" Denning repeated, looking over at the CSI techs.
"Yes sir. There are some things we need to confide in you which we don't necessarily want everyone else to know," Danny explained.
They waited as Denning considered their request, finally deciding it was a reasonable one for them to make. "Officers. If you would excuse us," Denning said. The techs left their equipment mostly where it was, leaving the room to just Five-0 and the Lieutenant Governor.
"At the time of the Governor's disappearance, I was with Danny and a friend, a private investigator from LA. We were attempting to discover who killed Laura Hills."
"How do you know about that?" the Lt Governor asked sharply. "We haven't released that information publically."
"We're hardly the public, sir," Danny pointed out.
"As far as I am aware, no one contacted you to investigate her death," Denning said in a hard voice.
"No one official did, sir," Steve agreed.
"Then please tell me how you knew," Denning demanded.
"The fact is, sir, Laura Hills was an Amaranthine. As am I," Steve said, watching Denning for his reaction.
"An Amaranthine," Denning said. It sounded a little like a question and a little like an accusation. "Those are legends. Folk tales."
"No, sir. They are not. I am an Amaranthine. Grace is too. Danny is mortal. Our friend Mick, the PI from LA, is a vampire," Steve said.
"There is no such thing," Denning replied automatically.
"That's what I believed until last night when he showed up in our bedroom," Danny said. "He helped us investigate her death. This morning, he used me for breakfast." Danny pulled up his sleeve, showing the mark left over by Mick.
"Where is this….vampire now?" Denning demanded.
"Asleep in the freezer in our basement," Steve said.
"This is no time for jokes, Commander," Denning said, low and angry.
"He is completely serious, sir," Chin said. "Mick is undead. He has to sleep where it's cold."
"You are all talking nonsense," Denning said, his anger growing.
"We are not, sir," Danny said, trying to reason with him. "It's a lot to take in. But Steve is immortal. He isfriends with a vampire. We were investigating Laura Hills' death until sunrise."
Denning studied them in turn, his expression still reflecting his anger. "What business is her death to a vampire?" he finally asked.
"Because she was an Amaranthine, sir," Steve said. "She was murdered. We have reason to believe Wo Fat is behind it."
"Wo Fat," Denning repeated, his tone hard, his anger flaring.
"Yes sir. He's also an Amaranthine. Or he was. Now he's forsaken," Steve explained.
"Forsaken," Denning said.
"We're pretty sure he has learned to manipulate time. That's why the Governor doesn't show up on the tapes when she left. Or was abducted," Steve said.
"That makes no sense," Denning said, anger beginning to boil over. "There is no such thing as vampires. Or immortals."
"I am immortal, sir," Steve said. "Just like Wo Fat. And Laura Hills."
"You said she was murdered."
"The only way to permanently kill an Amaranthine is to give us hemlock. Wo Fat used it to murder Laura," Steve told him.
Denning shook his head, staring at Steve. "If there were immortals or vampires in Hawaii, I think I'd know."
"Only if you were one, sir," Danny said.
"And you knew he was immortal?" Denning asked him.
"Before I married him, yes. We adopted Grace because she's one," Danny said. "I'd never met a vampire until last night. There are five more coming to our house after sunset to help protect it."
"All right," Denning said, holding up one hand. "Let's suppose for a moment that what you are saying is true. I'm not convinced but ifit's true, what does Wo Fat want with the Governor? Why kidnap her?"
"We don't know, sir," Steve said. "Governor Jameson isn't immortal."
"Have you been investigating Wo Fat?" Denning asked.
"Only so far as my father's murder is concerned. There are no active Five-0 investigations of him."
"And you believe he will be attacking your house?" Denning asked. They could see some of his anger and doubt fading. He wasn't completely convinced but at least he didn't seem to believe they were outright lying to him.
"When a forsaken murders an Amaranthine, they steal our noumenons. It increases their power," Steve explained.
"Noumenons?" Denning asked. It was clear he was reluctant to know but it seemed important to understand.
"Our souls, sir," Steve said.
"All right. All right," Denning said, holding up one hand. "That still doesn't explain why Governor Jameson had pictures of you in her drawer. Or why Wo Fat would have abducted her."
"I don't have any answers for those questions," Steve agreed. "We need to capture Wo Fat. Everything else will fall into place once we've done that."
"And how are you going to find him?" Denning asked Steve.
"We aren't, sir. We're going to wait for him to come to us," Steve said. Danny, Kono and Chin frowned at that but it made sense. It was a dangerous play but one that would no doubt work.
"You are going to be the bait," Denning said.
"Yes sir. All the Amaranthines are at our house. He's going to come after us. We only have to wait for him."
"And the Governor?" Denning asked.
"Hopefully capturing Wo Fat will provide us those answers as well," Steve said. "Captain Lloyd needs to continue the search. Publically and openly. We'll wait for Wo Fat to come."
"Very well," Denning said. "On one condition."
"What is that, sir?" Steve asked.
"That I meet these vampires and immortals," Denning said.
"To what ends, sir?" Danny asked. "You could be putting yourself in harm's way."
"If your daughter is an immortal, as you claim, you are intentionally putting her in harm's way. I'm not entirely convinced what you've told me is accurate. Meeting those you say are there will reassure me that this is not some elaborate ruse on your part," Denning said.
Steve's face was hard and unhappy about the demand. Danny was pretty sure it was because Steve resented being called a liar. But Danny couldn't really blame Denning. Not entirely. Why should he believe there were vampires and immortals at their house? Danny certainly wouldn't have if he weren't living that new reality.
"Boss," Kono said, finally breaking the heavy silence of Steve's displeasure. "You have to know how it sounds. Lieutenant Governor Denning is trying to make sense of it. Imagine hearing all this for the first time."
"Thank you, Officer Kalakaua," Denning said with a nod. "If you want to return home, I will be going with you."
"Very well," Steve finally agreed. "But you'll need to leave our house shortly after sundown. After the rest of the vampires arrive. I don't want to have to guard you as well."
"Understood," Denning said. "Return home. I'll make my excuses, return to my office then slip out."
"Please bring at least one member of your detail," Danny requested.
"Of course," Denning agreed. "I'll be at your house in about an hour."
"An hour," Steve acknowledged. "Chin, you and Kono stay here for a reasonable length of time, then come home."
"Roger that," Chin agreed. He and Kono went into the hallway to discuss the investigation, Denning still considering everything he had heard.
"You should have told us the truth," Denning finally said to Steve, disapproval in his tone.
"There was no reason for the Governor to know," Steve said. "It doesn't matter to my day-to-day routines."
"Does the Navy know?" Denning asked.
"Yes sir. I've served several times. They actively recruit Amaranthines to save on training," Steve said.
"I suppose that makes sense," the Lieutenant Governor agreed. "All right. Do I need to call before I come?"
"If you will call when you are on Piikoi Street, it will be helpful," Danny said.
"I will," Denning agreed. "I'll see you in an hour."
Steve and Danny nodded in agreement, leaving the Governor's office. Danny could tell by the unnatural stiffness in Steve's body that their encounter had not gone the way he would have preferred. Danny wasn't thrilled that the Lieutenant Governor had accused them all of lying either. But it was true what he had said - anyone would have reason to doubt it the first time they heard it.
"We need to show him the pictures of you. From your previous lives," Danny said when they had finally made their way to Steve's truck. They had stopped and talked to Captain Lloyd who said he would alert them with the first scrap of information they found.
"Yeah," Steve agreed. "They're at home."
"I wonder if Grace has any. Would she be in any reference books? Could we look her up?" Danny asked.
"I don't think so. Even if we found her, you wouldn't necessarily be able to tell it was her. She would look very different at 60 than she does right now."
"Yeah," Danny agreed. "Did you call Jack?"
"No. I guess I should," Steve said, pulling his phone out. "Hey Dad."
"What's wrong?" Jack said immediately.
Steve explained the situation, Jack asking a few pointed questions.
"Why did the Governor have those photos?" Jack asked.
"That's something we can't answer," Steve said. "It makes no sense."
"You know I suspected Jameson and Wo Fat were aligned. That's the main reason he had me killed," Jack said.
"I haven't found any evidence to connect them, Jack," Steve said. "I wish I could."
"Sounds to me like you are about to blow the lid off the whole thing," Jack said.
"Could be," Steve agreed.
"How are you holding up, Danny?" Jack asked.
"You know. We may be homeless before it's over. How's Cleveland this time of year?"
Jack laughed at the question. "Beautiful. I'll be there to help you rebuild if it comes to that. And the basement is fortified against almost anything."
"One of the reasons we're at our house," Steve agreed.
"Tell the Moiety I said hello. And I'll try to get back to Hawaii before too much longer," Jack said.
"We will. And we'll keep you posted," Steve promised before disconnecting. "I wish he were here."
"I know, babe. We're going to get through this. All of us," Danny said. "Although it would have been nice if you'd told me we were going to be bait. So I wasn't the last to know. Husband, remember? You discuss these things. If you were normal… which… well. There you go."
"You done?" Steve asked.
"For now," Danny decided.
"I hadn't planned to use us as bait. Until it occurred to me that no matter what else happens, Wo Fat will be making a run for the Amaranthines. We have enough protection that he can't possibly win."
"I'm not saying it's not a sound strategy, SEAL-boy. I'm saying I really like our house and would like it to still be standing tomorrow."
"SEAL-boy?" Steve asked.
"That's your take away? You are not right in the head," Danny said in overly exaggerated despair. Steve just laughed.