Steve looked over at Danny in the passenger seat and watched with quiet amusement as his eyes slowly flickered until they closed. A bead of sweat trickled down his face, but it didn't seem to distract him from falling into the coma that was creeping up on him. Steve glanced at his watch. They had been in the Camaro watching the building for over two hours now on one of the most humid nights in Honolulu that he could remember. It was almost 1:00 in the morning and the activity they'd been observing was beginning to slow down.
He shifted in his seat trying to get comfortable but knew it wasn't the confines of the car that was bothering him, it was that annoying feeling that overcame him once again. He couldn't quite put a finger on it but it had been driving him crazy over the last couple of days. The only way he could describe it was like the calm before the storm, but even then it didn't feel threatening, it felt kind of peaceful, yet exciting at the same time. He took it as an omen that something was going to happen, which made him keep his guard up, not completely sure whether it was going to be good or bad. He had always trusted his instincts and that inner voice.
He thought about telling Danny but decided against it. He couldn't explain it to himself, how could he explain it to him without getting the look that he was nuts.
A man approached the car and Steve nudged Danny, "Hey! Conner's coming."
Danny's eyes shot open as he sat up in his seat like he had been awake the whole time, "Ahh!" he moaned rubbing his hands over his face, "I hate these late nights." He looked over at Steve, "Tomorrow is Chin's turn."
"Hopefully there won't be a tomorrow." Steve replied, getting out of the car and allowing Connor to climb in the backseat. Steve got back in and started the engine, turning the air conditioner on full blast and driving off.
Danny shifted in his seat so he could look at Conner, "What did you get?"
Connor Jeffries was a rookie Detective that worked HPD and had been investigating a drug and prostitution ring in Honolulu. His latest lead brought him to an old apartment building with six studios that had been turned into a brothel. He listed the help of Five 0 since he had found out the criminals were bringing girls and drugs in from other countries. He really wanted this bust and knowing their reputation and qualifications, he knew they could help him seal the deal.
"I think we should make our move tomorrow night. They have a shipment coming in with new girls," he looked at Danny and raised his eyebrows, "and the girls are the ones that bring in the drugs. We'll hit the mother load."
"How do you know?" Steve asked him.
"That turd Derek told me tonight. Some Russian girls, or someplace in that vicinity are flying in. I can't wait to bust that piece of shit. Just seeing the look on his face when I put those cuffs on will be worth all the hard work."
Steve and Danny looked at each other and laughed.
"I like your stye," Danny said to him, "sounds Jersey."
"Hmm," Connor said, "Never been there, sounds like a rad place though."
Steve slapped Danny on the arm, "There you go, you have a new word for home, a rad place."
Connor sat forward from the backseat, "I didn't mean any disrespect to your hometown, Detective Williams," Connor retorted quickly, "I was just saying,"
"Relax," Danny said, holding his hand up, and then motioning to Steve. "He'll take any chance he can to dish on me, so don't take it personal."
"It's true," Steve agreed, "I have no boundaries."
Danny turned in his seat again so he could see Connor, "And what did I tell you about that Williams crap? Jesus, lighten up kid. We're all on the same team."
"Ok," he said, nodding, "Sorry." He appreciated the informality, but to him they were on a whole different level than he was. Five 0 worked directly for the Governor and they were like this elite team that was untouchable. An ex Navy Seal and a cop from Jersey, not to mention the reputation that Chin and Kono had around the station, they were who Connor idolized about this job. He was thrilled when he found out he would be working with them, and didn't want to blow it by acting like a rookie detective.
Danny rolled his eyes at Steve which was received with a 'give the kid a break' returned glare.
They pulled into the parking lot of the police station and decided to meet up at ten o'clock the next morning at Five 0 headquarters to make the arrangements for the next night.
Steve got out with the engine still running, leaving the door open for Danny. Connor climbed out behind him. "Don't pull what you did during the surveillance on the way home," he teased Danny.
He looked at him quizzically, "What?"
"Don't fall asleep."
Danny huffed at him, "I wasn't sleeping! I was just pretending so I didn't have to listen to you talk anymore about that fricking wave you caught yesterday."
Steve leaned over as Danny got in the car, smiling brightly, "It was rad dude!"
Danny closed the door in his face and sped off, tires squealing.
Steve walked with Connor through the parking lot to their cars. "You've done some really good detective work on this case."
Connor nodded his appreciation, "Thank you. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night. We're going to go in there and kick some ass."
Steve stopped at his truck, opening the door, "A little piece of advice, going into a bust feeling confident is good, but going in over confident, that can get you killed. Anything out of the ordinary can happen and usually does."
Connor felt like an idiot, he was getting called out by him for being too anxious and too obnoxious. "Yes sir, I'll remember that. I'm just really happy to be working with you guys. I guess it makes me feel a little over confident."
"You're a good cop. The only difference between us is experience. Ten years from now you'll know everything I know."
"Thanks Commander." He hoped that was true but with all of McGarrett's experience in the Seals and on the job, he doubted it. He only hoped he could be as professional and prove himself on the job. In the end he just wanted to have a reputation that he could be proud of.
"Go home," Steve said as he got in his truck, "get some sleep so you'll be ready to arrest that turd tomorrow."
"Yes sir!" Connor laughed as he walked to his car.
"I can't believe how hot it is again tonight," Danny grumbled while he slipped on his vest. He looked over as Connor checked to make sure he had a bullet in the chamber of his gun. "You ready to lead us in?" he asked him. The four of them had decided to let him take the reins since he had built the case.
Connor looked up as Steve, Danny, Kono and Chin stared at him for an answer. He was expecting to be ahead of the other HPD officers that were there for backup, but not to be ahead of the four of them. He just assumed they would want to go in first.
"I'm ready," he nodded, loving the opportunity and remembering what Commander McGarrett had told him the night before about being over confident. "We'll make entrance through the door on the east side, that's where the main threat will come from. I've seen loaded weapons on the premisses but only a couple of people actually carry them. One is a Hawaiian male, approximately six-feet tall, 210 lb. with a visible native tattoo on his neck. The other is a white male, 6'3", 250 lb., dirty blond hair, no visible marks, but built like a wall, you'll know him when you see him."
"He's yours Kono," Chin announced, smiling.
"All right!" she replied enthusiastically. "The bigger they are the harder they fall."
Connor started walking down the back alley that led to the apartment complex. "There are six studio apartments in all. The rooms will all be intercepted by HPD, they have their orders, two men per room."
They stopped just short of the building, leaning against the wall of the alley. Connor spoke into his radio informing the other officers they were in place and ready to make entry. He received confirmation that they were also in position. He looked over his shoulder at the four of them, "Ready?"
"Hold on," Kono said, cracking her knuckles on both hands, "Ok. I had to get ready for my date," she said, passively.
"You scare me sometimes," Danny whispered.
Connor moved around the corner of the alley with Steve behind him, followed by the others. They carefully made their way to the east side of the building that Connor had spoken of. He motioned with his head to the door that was now visible, and he and Steve took positions on either side. Steve spoke in code to Chin telling him to take the side with the windows. Danny and Kono stayed with him.
Connor raised his hand and did a countdown from three, but before he could finish the door opened. Steve immediately grabbed the suspect around the neck with his hand and threw him to the ground with his gun pointed at his neck, "Five 0! Don't move!"
Connor bolted through the door with Danny and Kono, guns drawn surprising the four people sitting at the table, including Derek.
"What the fuck!" Derek yelled, staring at Connor, completely bewildered.
Connor ran over to him, pulling him out his chair first, while Danny and Kono confiscated the guns on the two men that he had spoken of earlier.
"You're under arrest for possession and drug trafficking."
"You're a cop?"
"Surprise!" Connor said, cuffing him.
Steve came in after cuffing his man and he and Danny checked the bathroom and the other room that looked like an office. "Clear!" Danny announced.
They heard the commotion coming from the studio apartments as HPD made their entrance. There were several surprised screams and even more explicit words that followed the screams. Connor looked over the room once more, making sure everyone was locked down before he exited to check on the status of the HPD raid on the rooms.
She huddled against the headboard of the bed, staring at the three men through several hanging locks of her blond hair. Her heart beat so fast and so hard that the blood pumping through her veins was like a freight train. Her hands were cuffed to the metal headboard and shook uncontrollably. She couldn't imagine what they had in store for her next. The last twelve hours of her life had been like a living hell. She wasn't even completely sure where she was in the world, she guessed the United States because of the language, but it was far from where she had been, she knew that.
Connor stepped forward toward the bed and she let out a small gasp. He backed away, letting her know he posed no threat. "Stay here," he informed the two officers, "I'll be right back."
Steve pushed the last of the four people from the room into the back of an HPD van, closing the door. "They're secure." He looked over as three officers loaded another truck with three women from the brothel, all of which were not going easy or quietly.
"Commander!" Connor yelled out to him.
Steve turned to see him standing on the second floor, motioning for him.
"I think you should see this."
Steve looked at Danny and they both went to see what his concern was.
Connor met them at the top of the stairs, "There's a woman in this room, she's cuffed to the bed."
"Oh great," Danny huffed, "a resisting arrest or a sadist. I don't know which is worst."
"No," Connor said, concerned, "I don't think she belongs here."
"What do mean?" Steve asked, following him down the walkway.
"She's scared, really scared!" he said adamantly.
They came to the room and Connor stepped aside allowing them to enter.
"Holy crap," Danny whispered at the sight of her. She looked like a frightened doe surrounded by a pack of wolves.
Steve let out a deep breath, "I think scared is an understatement."
Her eyes darted to each man over and over, not sure which one was going to make the first move.
Danny motioned with his hand for the other two officers to leave. "You guys go out. Someone find Kono."
"Do we have a key to the cuffs?" Steve asked Connor.
Steve turned around, "Someone does and I bet that someone is in the van," he stormed angrily out of the room, followed by Connor.
He flung open the van door and stepped inside, eyeing the four men, "Where is the key to the cuffs for the girl upstairs?" he demanded.
None of them responded but the 'blond wall', let out a small laugh.
Steve leaned forward and shoved his head against the van wall, pressing the side of his face into the metal. "Something I said funny, you fucking prick! You like picking on women," he shoved harder, "Huh, tough guy!"
He groaned and tried to fight him off with his legs, but it was useless. He finally caved in, "In the drawer in the office." he grunted.
Steve motioned for Connor to go get it, not letting up his hold.
"Let me go!" he moaned.
"What's the matter?" Steve tormented, "You don't like being held down and confined?" He got in his face, "I bet she didn't either." He looked out the back of the van and waited until he saw Connor holding up the key, he then finally let him go.
He closed the door to the van and he and Connor made their way back up the stairs.
"I like your style Commander."
"Danny would have had a heart attack if he saw that. Don't take lessons from me on interrogations."
Connor smiled holding up the key, "You get quick results though."
She felt a slight sense of relief when she saw the woman come in the room. She wasn't intimidating like the men.
"Hi, I'm Kono," she said, sitting on the edge of the bed. She watched as her eyes darted toward the door. "No one's going to hurt you."
Steve came in and handed Kono the key to the cuffs and then backed away knowing he was scaring her. He could only imagine what they had done to her to make her this frightened. He looked over at Danny and they both had the same heart wrenching expression.
Kono reached up and undid the cuffs, "What's your name?"
She pulled her hands down and rubbed her wrists, gasping from pain as she rubbed too hard over the bruises. Her fear of them slowly faded but was replaced with what her fate would be. Where would they take her? She knew they were police, but the only law enforcement she had ever been familiar with was back home, and under no circumstances did you ever want to go to the police station.
"What's your name?" Kono asked again.
She understood what Kono was asking her. She was fluent in English, Sergius had made sure of that. He had a lot of Western European clients. Her mind was spinning so fast she didn't think she could speak, and her mouth was dry from lack of water and plain fear.
Kono smiled patiently, "What's your name?"
"Kariathia." she replied just above a whisper.
Steve leaned in, "What did she say?"
Kono shook her head, "Kary…th?" she tried to repeat it.
"Kariathia," she said again.
"Kariathia. Ok." Kono turned to them, "Kariathia."
All three of them repeated it, each with a different pronunciation.
Kono spoke slowly pronouncing each syllable with an explanation. "Kar…like a car you drive," she motioned with her hands, "e, like the letter 'e', a…thia. Kariathia." Kono looked back at her and rolled her eyes, which made her smile just slightly. "You guys got it?" Kono asked them.
Steve sighed, "How about we forget the end and call her Kari?"
"Sounds good to me," Danny agreed.
Chin walked in behind Connor, "Who is she?"
"Kari," Steve announced, smiling at her. "Like the word car with an e at the end."
She felt no threat from Kono but was still weary of the men, especially the tall dark haired man, she thought he looked very intimidating even though he smiled, he seemed impatient. She thought she would try and avoid him if necessary.
"Should we take her to the hospital?" Steve asked.
"Do you speak english?" Kono asked.
"Yes," she replied quietly.
"Good. Do you want a doctor?"
Kari thought about that answer. She'd been raped twice since being there, but had no other injuries besides some bruises, she didn't want to have to tell anyone what had happened or to be touch on her body again by anyone. She shook her head no.
Kono looked back at Steve apprehensively, "Guess not, but I think we should anyway."
"No!" Kari blurted out, "No doctor. I'm not hurt."
Kono looked over at Steve for input.
"I don't want to force her. It's looks like she's been through enough already tonight. Let's take her back to the station."
He felt sorry for her, she looked so small and helpless curled up on the bed, hugging her body; it was a natural position to protect yourself from harm. He tried not to think what the blond prick and the others had done to her. It made him want to go back down to the van and kick the shit out of them. Connor was right, he didn't think she belonged here either, but how did she get here, and why was she here?