AN: This is my first story posted in this fandom on this site. I have another story in progress in the classic "Hawaii Five-O" fandom that is a cross-over between these two fantastic shows. After the encouragement that my readers, fellow writers and beta have given me, I have decided to try my hand and get my feet wet with writing a debut here. Your feedback is greatly appreciated should you have the time to review my work. I accept both signed and anonymous reviews.
Due to real life getting crazy at times and having other stories in the "Hawaii Five-O" fandom to update, I may not be able to update this story as often as I'd like to, so just a heads up in case you prefer to wait until the story is completed before you start reading it. (I am well known for my cliff-hanger endings to many of my chapters in other stories, so if you prefer not to be left dangling too long then you might want to wait until I can at least guarantee regular updates).
Thank you for taking the time to read what I have to offer here.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the original characters, locations or canon information depicted in the series "The Streets of San Francisco". I'm just borrowing them for my pleasure and hopefully the enjoyment of others.
(This chapter has been beta read)
ACT I: Part 1
Residence of Inspector Steve Keller, 1973
The seasoned Lieutenant sat on the sofa with the morning's paper opened to the sports page.
"Alright, Mike." Young Inspector Steve Keller stepped into the living room, adjusting his maroon tie and then retrieved his desert brown jacket from the back of the recliner.
"Well it's about time! I told you yesterday that I was going to be here early today. You've spoiled breakfast." Lieutenant Mike Stone declared gruffly as he closed the paper and folded it in half. Removing his glasses and stowing them away in his top pocket, Stone reached for his hat on the coffee table and placed it on his head.
"What do you mean I spoiled breakfast? It's still early!" Steve countered.
"Since it's my birthday, I thought we could try that new diner that just opened up instead of those chilli dogs that have been giving me indigestion!" Mike made careful emphasis on the word birthday.
"Did you just say it's your birthday today?" Steve scratched his head in the pretence that he'd forgotten his partner's birthday.
"Why you!" Mike bounded off the sofa and swatted a retreating Steve on the shoulder with the newspaper.
"Come on, birthday boy, we're going to be late!" Steve called back as he ran out the front door with Mike hot on his heels.
As Steve locked his front door, Mike opened the passenger door of the Ford Galaxy parked out front.
"Hey, I thought it was your turn to drive, Mike!" Steve called out as he reached the driver's door and pulled it open.
"Not today, Buddy boy! You know why?" Mike leaned across his seat as Steve entered the vehicle.
"Don't tell me. It's your birthday!" Steve rolled his eyes at his partner who chuckled. "Do us a favor, will you? Since you're playing passenger, pass us the menu I've got in the glove compartment."
"What menu?" Mike asked dubiously as Steve started the engine and pulled away into the street. He opened the glove compartment and a half empty bag of sun flower seeds fell out, followed by an empty soda can and half a burger. Cringing, Mike reached inside and pulled out an envelope with the word Menu written across the front in Steve's handwriting. "You gotta be kidding me right? What's this?"
"Just open it, will you!" Steve replied exasperatedly.
Mike pulled out the contents of the envelope and smiled up at his partner. "You got me tickets to the season opener!"
"That's right. Happy birthday, Mike." Steve smiled back. "And you thought I'd forgotten." He shook his head.
"Did I say that?" Mike feigned a look of innocence before replacing the tickets back into the envelope. "Thanks, buddy boy." He smiled warmly.
"You're welcome." Steve replied with a grin.
"Steve." Stone began in a serious tone.
"If it's one thing I can't stand more than your unhealthy eating habits, it's when they're covering the interior of this car!" It didn't take long for Mike's eyes to travel down to the contents which spilled out onto the floor from the glove compartment. He began berating Steve on his hygiene as they drove down Van Ness Avenue.
The slender, blue eyed brunette reached for her purse at the check-out of the convenience store. "I also need a bottle of marsala."
"Sorry, Miss, but we're all out. You can try Arnie's two blocks from here." The store clerk replied apologetically.
"Thank you. I best get down there then." Jeannie Stone sighed as she paid the man behind the counter.
"You take care, Miss. It's not a very friendly neighbourhood down that way, if you know what I mean." The shop keeper lowered his voice.
Jeannie nodded uneasily at the storekeeper and thanked him as she carried her groceries in one arm and walked out the store in high spirits.
A figure lurked in the shadow of the street corner as he lit a cigarette, then walked down the sidewalk, casing out the small stores along the street. He was short of cash and had gone dry for far too long. Today he could use a bottle of whiskey or bourbon to quench his thirst and satisfy the burning craving. The street was part of the slum areas of the neighbourhood and business failed to thrive. Stores were gradually closing down and relocating due to robberies and vandals. As Cain Larson peered into the glass window of Arnie's Convenience and Tobacco store, the tall young man licked his lips. He could almost taste the intoxicating flavors just by staring at the bottles lined up behind the counter inside the store. He put his hands into the side pockets of his faded denim jacket and felt the cool metal casing of the switchblade inside. There was only one attendant in the store. Just an old guy. Easy. He'd made up his mind. He needed a strong drink and more cigarettes and wasn't going to wait until his next welfare check. He pushed the door open, causing the bell above the entrance to tinkle softly. As he casually walked inside the store and began browsing through the aisles, the man behind the counter peered up from the newspaper he was reading and assessed the stranger. Larson looked up and smiled, "Howdy."
"What can I do for you?" the attendant asked courteously.
"A buddy of mine's throwing a party, see. I think I've found something here." Larson held up a can of beans and smirked haughtily. The store keeper nodded with a forced smile and sighed before returning his attention to the paper. Larson took the can with him and banged the bottom of it on the counter top, startling the aging man. "Just the beans, old timer." Larson drawled.
"That'll be fifteen cents." The store keeper entered the amount into the cash register.
Larson let out a low whistle. "They ain't getting' cheaper with the times, are they, old man?"
"I guess not. Is there anything else?" the attendant sighed in irritation at the young lout's smart mouth.
"Let's see. How about a bottle of that bourbon there?" Larson squinted his eyes and pointed at one of the glass bottles lined up on the shelf behind the attendant.
"No problem." The man turned his back on his customer to reach for the bottle.
Larson's smirk disappeared from his face as he dug into his pocket and pulled out the switchblade. In one flash of movement the young, well-built man lunged forward and threw an arm over the old man's head, trapping him in a stranglehold. With his arm firmly locked across his victim's throat, Larson dragged the man back up until his back pressed against the counter. "Don't make a sound or try anything, old timer! Now open that cash drawer nice and slow, no tricks!" Larson grated into the elderly man's ear
The shaken storekeeper tried to nod but he was unable to move his head at all. He reached out his arm and with trembling fingers pushed the button that sprang the catch of the cash drawer. The drawer rolled out and Larson peered over the counter, still maintaining his firm hold. He could see there was enough cash in the drawer to buy him enough drinks to last him a couple of days. "Put your hands up and don't turn around until I'm gone!" Larson growled as he pressed the tip of his knife into the man's back until he drew enough blood to make his point clear. The man winced in pain but did as he was told and slowly raised his arms up above his head. Larson took his arm away from the man's neck and keeping his knife wielding hand trained on the clerk, he used the other to pull out the notes from the cash drawer. When the attendant stole a sidelong glance and saw that his attacker had taken his eyes off him to retrieve the money, anger began to fill his veins. He reached out for the neck of the bottle of bourbon. He was no match for the young man's quick reflexes as Larson saw the action take place from the corner of his eye. He swung his arm across, knocking the bottle free from the man's hand. The glass smashed onto the tiled floor and the pungent smell of bourbon filled the air as the liquid spilled across the floor. Fury fuelled Larson and he grabbed the old man's shirt, pulling him close. "You shouldn't have done that old timer!"
"No please! Take what you want!" The old man raised his hands in a placating manner and pleaded for his life to be spared. Whatever anger he felt before had gone, to be replaced with sheer terror.
"Too late, old timer!" Larson sneered then plunged the blade into the man's midsection, catching him deep below the breastbone. Pulling the knife free, Larson pushed the dying man away from him and sent him crashing against the shelves behind him where bottles of spirits were knocked down and crashed onto the floor. Larson leaped over the counter and placed the knife next to the register as he stuffed all the notes from the drawer into his pockets. A gurgling moan caught his attention and he grabbed the knife off the counter then crouched down over the body of the store attendant who tried to crawl away. Shoving the gravely wounded man by the shoulder, Larson dragged his bloodied blade across the petrified man's throat. The victim's limbs spasmed then grew still as his life ebbed away.
Hefting her shopping bag onto her other arm, Jeannie Stone checked her watch and quickened her pace. Her bus would be arriving shortly and she didn't want to miss it. It was Mike's birthday and the young college girl wanted to cook him a surprise dinner. She didn't want to be late with her preparations for the evening. As Arnie's Convenience and Tobacco store came into view, Jeannie held the bulging paper bag tightly to her chest and raced toward the glass door. Without peering through the glass, she pushed it open and stepped inside at the same moment a young man rose from behind the counter, a bloody knife held in his hand. The shopping bag dropped from her arm and fell to the ground, spilling its contents as her blue eyes widened in absolute shock and fear. She let out a strangled gasp as her vocal chords refused to co-operate to issue a scream. The man leaped out at her from behind the counter, his knife held out in front of him ready to strike down the unfortunate girl before she could turn around and run out into the street.