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Chapter 2 – Enter Eric

When Danny got back to the Five-O office, Steve was on the phone with the governor. He got a cup of coffee and waited in the outer office, sitting on the corner of Jenny’s desk, chatting. Hearing the front office door open and close, he turned to see who had come in.

Williams almost dropped his coffee. He had seen this man’s handsome features, wavy blond hair, and captain’s hat before. The only thing that was unfamiliar was the rest of his white uniform, since in the pornographer’s picture he hadn’t been wearing it.

“I’m looking for Steve McGarrett,” the blond man said, glancing around the room.

“He’s...he’s occupied at the moment,” Danny managed to say. “You can wait out here.”

“I see. And you are?”

“Dan Williams, second in command of Five-O,” Danny said, standing up to his full height and feeling unaccountably annoyed that it was considerably less than that of the other man. Why should I feel the need to justify myself to this guy?

“Steve’s assistant, huh?” The stranger gave Danny a frankly assessing look up and down with his brilliant blue eyes.

Danny flushed. “And you?”

“Oh, an old friend of Steve’s. From his Navy days,” he said, pouring himself a paper cup of coffee without being invited, then lounging against the adjacent bookshelf with the easy grace of a cat.

Dan finally made his brain start working again. “Wait...are you Brian Howard’s yacht captain?” he demanded.

“That too, yes,” the uniformed man said with a small smile.

Their exchange was interrupted by the buzzer on Jenny’s intercom as McGarrett informed her he was finished with his call.

“Danny, Steve’s ready for you now,” Five-O’s secretary told the young detective, curious about the atmosphere between Williams and the other man.

Danny entered Steve’s office, followed without invitation by the tall stranger.

Steve stood up from behind his desk, eyes widening as he looked from one of them to the other.

He doesn’t look happy to see us together, Danny thought. Nervous? Guilty?

“Steve!” the stranger greeted the head of Five-O cheerfully, brushing past Williams and walking around the desk to warmly clasp Steve’s hand. “It’s been too long. Now, perhaps we should talk in private?” He glanced meaningfully over at Danny.

“Mm, perhaps so,” McGarrett said, also looking over at his second-in-command. “Danny, would you mind making your report later? It’s not urgent, is it?”

“What? N...no, not urgent,” Danny told him, taken aback.

“Then, could you wait outside?” Steve asked.

“Sure,” Danny said flatly. He turned and left, carefully closing the door behind him with a precise click.

I can’t believe he threw me out of his office. Who is this guy to Steve? And how is he involved in this case? Williams thought as he walked through the outer office on the way back to his cubicle.

“An old friend of Steve’s,” Lani, the pretty local typist, was saying dreamily to Jenny as they chatted beside her desk. “I wonder if he’d introduce me?”

“I saw him first!” Jenny said.

I have an awful feeling that he’s the kind of “old friend” who wouldn’t be interested in either of you.... Danny thought.

Danny sat at his desk, failing to get anything done, until he heard the door to McGarrett’s office open. “So long, Steve! Until we meet again,” the blond man called into the office before closing the door behind himself. He crossed the outer office, giving Jenny a little wave as he passed her desk, then stuck his head into Danny’s cubicle. “It was so nice to meet you,” he said, smiling at Williams in a way that most people would undoubtedly have found charming.

“Any friend of Steve’s,” Danny said, trying to make his smile look genuine.

Jenny buzzed him to say that McGarrett wanted to see him.

Danny walked into Steve’s office. “Are you ready for my report, Boss?” he asked crisply.

“Danny...come out to the lanai for a minute,” Steve said. He closed the door behind them and turned to lean on the railing, looking across at Honolulu Hale. “I’m sorry about that earlier,” he said, turning his head to face Danny, standing at the railing beside him. “You remember I told you about Cathy Wallis, how she pretended to be my girlfriend while I was in the Navy, to hide the fact that I was...was seeing a man?”

“Yeah,” his partner answered, looking up at the taller man with his arms crossed.

McGarrett turned away. “Eric Hagen, Howard’s captain, was that man. It must be nearly ten years since I saw him last....”

“I see. And how is he involved in this case?” Why didn’t you just tell me he was your ex? Why act so guilty about it if you haven’t seen him for years, and why ask me to leave the office while you talked to him? Danny thought but didn’t ask.

“I don’t know,” Steve said, sounding uncertain. “He called me in the middle of the night two days ago, out of the blue, and wouldn’t say why. And that pornographer had his picture. Eric says he met Howard about the plan for the fishing trip, just routine, and that he posed for the pictures to make some easy money.”

“I see. Well, thank you for telling me,” Danny said. Too little, too late. He turned from the railing, opened the lanai door, and went back into Steve’s office.

“Danno....” Steve turned from the railing and called after him, then gave up and followed him into the office.

Danny stood in front of the desk to made his report. “Stoltz says their meeting was routine bank business, that Howard came to Hawaii every six months or so and checked in with him.”

“How did he seem?” his boss asked, perching on a corner of the desk.

“Nervous, I would say, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering him. I think we should take a look at their books,” Williams suggested.

“I’ll get a warrant. In the meantime, see if you can dig up some of Howard’s other business associates, try to get a handle on the state of his affairs. You might have to go to Texas.”

“OK, Steve.” Does he want to get me out of the way for some reason? Some reason having to do with this Eric Hagen?

Later that afternoon, the team assembled in McGarrett’s office to report. “Che says the gun that killed Howard was definitely the one registered to him. The wife said he kept it in his desk, loaded,” reported Chin, standing in front of Steve’s desk. He flipped through his notebook. “Crazy haole. The appointment book had a beauty. Two days ago Howard had a meeting with an ‘R. Matthewson’. Ring any bells?”

“Our pornographer,” said Danny, standing in front of the window at the end of the desk. “On the day he was killed. We haven’t found any pictures of Howard or his wife, but....” What should I say about the pictures of Hagen?

“There were pictures of the yacht captain,” McGarrett said, swiveling his desk chair to face the others.

“That’s weird,” Kono said. “And the guy turns up murdered. Why?”

“That’s what we need to find out,” McGarrett said, standing and starting to pace. He stopped and turned to the Hawaiian detective, standing stalwartly beside Chin Ho. “Kono, what about those alibis?”

“Mrs. Howard was definitely at the beauty parlor in the morning. Then she had lunch with a friend. But the afternoon...she was at Ala Moana Shopping Center, and the clerks in several stores remember her, but they can’t pin down the times definitely,” Kono reported. “She could’ve been gone for an hour at the right time, and that’s more than she’d need to make it to their building and back. As for the son...his friends are a bunch of beach bums. Four of them said he was with them the whole time, couldn’t have left, but I think they’d lie for him easy.”

“Well,” McGarrett said, a knuckle raised to his lips, “We may have to break that alibi.” He walked back behind his desk, facing his detectives across it. “For now, Chin, I want you to go over the lab report from the Matthewson case. See if there’s anything that ties in to anybody in this case. Kono, take an accountant over to Consolidated Electronics and go over their books.”

When the others had gone, Danny perched on the edge of the Steve’s desk. He asked, “Why do you think Howard met with the pornographer? He could have been blackmailing Hagen so Hagen killed him, but then why kill Howard? And Howard could have found out about the pictures and threatened to fire Hagen, but how would that have happened after Matthewson was already dead? Nothing seems to make sense.” He shook his head.

Steve was looking out the lanai door. “Whatever else Eric Hagen may be, I can’t believe he’d kill two people over losing a job,” he said, turning back to the room. “Danno, I want you to talk to the Howards’ friends. See if husband and wife were getting along, and what the relationship was like between the stepfather and the stepson.”

“OK, Steve,” Danny said, standing. “Should I come by for dinner tonight?”

“No,” McGarrett said, not meeting Danny’s eyes. “I’m going to have to work late on this one.”

Chin came into McGarrett’s office the next morning holding a report. “Jackpot, boss!” he said, passing the folder across the desk to his boss.

“What did you find?” Steve asked, opening it.

“There was a pair of sunglasses at the scene where Matthewson was found. They were on the floor near the body and had his blood on them, and they also had two unknown prints. We printed Eric Hagen to compare with the prints at the Howard scene, and it’s his prints on the sunglasses,” the Chinese detective told him. “And one more thing, Steve. The gun Matthewson was shot with? It was Brian Howard’s, the same one that killed him.”

Oh, Eric, what have you gotten yourself into this time? thought Steve. He sighed. “OK, thanks, Chin.”

McGarrett stood and reached for his jacket.

As Chin left the office, Danny came in, holding a report. “Headed out, Steve?” he asked his boss.

“Yeah, Danno. I have to go talk to Eric. Is that the report on your conversation with the friends?”

“Yes. You want it now?” Danny asked.

“When I get back will do,” Steve said, straightening his tie.

Williams looked up at his partner uncertainly. “Shall I come along?”

“No...no, you stay here and keep digging into the financial records,” his boss told him, giving him a pat on the shoulder as he strode from the office.

McGarrett knocked on the door of Hagen’s suite at the Ilikai Hotel.

“Steve! What a nice surprise,” Eric said, throwing the door open.

“Nice place,” McGarrett commented, looking around the spacious accommodations as he stepped inside. He raised his eyebrows and looked at Hagen. “I didn’t realize being a yacht captain paid so well.”

Eric smiled. “Mr. Howard is very generous. He pays to put me up when we come to Hawaii. Steve...I assume this isn’t a social call?”

“No,” McGarrett confirmed.

“Well, have a seat,” the blonde man said, gesturing to a pair of comfortable-looking armchairs. “You’re free to grill me as much as you want.” He sat and gave McGarrett a smile that didn’t touch the wary expression in his eyes.

Steve took the indicated chair, crossing his legs and leaning his elbows on his knees. He looked over his clasped hands at his old friend and said seriously, “Eric, I need you to come clean with me about what happened.”

“I’m hurt. I’ve told you nothing but the truth,” Eric said, leaning back casually.

“When did you last see Matthewson?” McGarrett fired at him.

“When he took those pictures. Maybe three weeks ago?”

“Were you ever in his shop?”

“No, he came to the boat.”

“Have you lost a pair of sunglasses recently?”

“How did you know that?” Hagen asked, straightening in surprise. “I left them on the boat, and someone must have taken them. It was about a week ago. Expensive ones, too. I was rather annoyed; I would have thought Mr. Howard’s guests were above that. Perhaps the cleaners.” He waved a hand.

“Did you tell anyone they were gone?” McGarrett asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No, I didn’t want to bother Mr. Howard about something like that.” He leaned back again.

Steve leaned forward, hands on his knees, and addressed the other man. “Eric, a pair of sunglasses was found beside Matthewson’s body. They had his blood and your fingerprints on them.”

Eric abruptly stood up. He looked down at McGarrett, all the banter gone from his manner. “What?”

Steve rose from his chair, facing Hagen. “You’re telling me you didn’t leave those sunglasses there,” he said, emphasizing his point with his hand.

“No, of course not. I didn’t kill anyone!” Eric looked panicked. “Please, Steve, you can’t think I would do something like that!”

“I don’t think, I look for evidence,” McGarrett snapped. “And the evidence here is pointing to you.”

“Someone must have taken my sunglasses and planted them there.”

“Who would want to do that?”

“I don’t know. Steve, you have to help me!” he looked pleadingly at the head of Five-O.

“I can’t help you if you don’t tell me the truth,” McGarrett said in frustration.

“I am telling you the truth!” Eric protested, giving him a wide-eyed sincere look.

McGarrett shook his head and turned away. “Eric, I recommend you get a good lawyer.”

Back in his office, McGarrett stood looking out the door of the lanai.

Danny knocked and entered, crossing to stand in front of Steve’s desk. “I heard from Chin what he found. Did you pick Hagen up?” he asked.

Steve turned from the window. “No, I want more evidence first.”

“We have pictures of him in Matthewson’s collection and his prints on a bloodstained pair of sunglasses at the scene. What more do we need?” Williams spread his hands in a gesture of confusion.

“Eric says the sunglasses went missing a week before the murder,” his partner said, crossing to stand in front of Danny.

“Did he tell anyone at the time?”

“No,” Steve shook his head.

“Pretty flimsy, Steve,” Danny said, crossing his arms.

“Maybe, and I know there’s something he’s not telling me,” McGarrett said, turning away and pacing back to the window. “But I don’t think he killed those men.”

“Is that because of the evidence, or because he’s an old friend of yours?” his partner demanded.

Steve whirled to face him. “Danny, you, of all people, know me better than to think I would let myself be influenced by that.”

“Yeah,” Williams said flatly. As he turned to leave the office, he contemplated, I thought I did. But maybe that was only when it was me in trouble....

The team gathered around McGarrett’s desk to report.

Kono said, “Boss, there’s something funny at Consolidated Electronics. There’s a discrepancy of $25,000 in this month’s books. Stoltz claims to know nothing about it. Maybe Howard found out and Stoltz killed him?”

“But then what about Matthewson? Maybe Howard used Consolidated to pay blackmail? But we didn’t find anything like that amount in Matthewson’s possession,” Danny commented, perching on the corner of the desk. “And his last big bank account deposit was three months ago.”

“Someone killed Matthewson,” McGarrett said, pacing. “Maybe they took the money and the evidence. Danny, how did you do with the Howards’ friends?”

“The Howards weren’t exactly a model couple. They fought pretty often. Apparently Mrs. Howard thought Brian kept a mistress, but if so, he was discreet. The friends never saw him with a woman.”

“What about the stepson?” the head of Five-O asked.

“Oil and water. Howard thought he was a lazy good-for-nothing and the son thought the old man wasn’t nice enough to his mother,” Williams reported.

McGarrett stopped pacing and faced his detectives. “Kono, get a warrant to search the boat and the son’s hotel room,” McGarrett ordered. “We’re looking for photos, cash, and any tie-in to Matthewson.”

“Chin, check alibis for Matthewson’s murder.”

“Danny, you’re with me. We’re going to pay another visit to Mr. Stoltz.”

“I’m not an embezzler, Mr. McGarrett!” Stoltz protested, standing up from behind his desk.

“Then tell us what happened to that money,” McGarrett demanded. “No one else in your company could have arranged for it to disappear like that.”

“You must understand, Mr. McGarrett, Mr. Howard owns this company. I have to follow his instructions, and they were quite clear,” the thin, balding man said, adjusting his glasses.

“Mr. Howard owned this company,” Steve snapped. “Now he’s dead, and you’re obstructing the search for his killer.”

“But his reputation....” Stoltz was wringing his hands.

McGarrett leaned across the desk. “We’re going to get to the truth one way or another. If you help us, maybe we can wrap this up quickly. If not, we’ll go on tearing into Howard’s personal and business life until we get an answer.”

Stoltz sighed in resignation, sitting down again. “Mr. Howard instructed me to get the money together, then gradually replace it with money taken out of the salary he drew from the company. He wasn’t stealing!” he said indignantly.

“Who did he tell you to make the payment to?”

“He took it himself, in cash.”

“$25,000 in cash? That’s pretty extraordinary. Did he explain why he needed to make this arrangement?” Steve asked.

“He said it was something he didn’t want his wife to know about. I assumed maybe he had a mistress,” the manager told them.

“Did you ever see any other evidence of a mistress?” Danny asked.

“No, he had never asked for anything like this before. I...I didn’t really know him personally.

McGarrett stood. “Thank you for the information.”

“Mr. McGarrett...what’s going to happen to me?” the manager asked anxiously. “I was only doing what Mr. Howard told me to!”

“Since the company belongs to Mrs. Howard now, that’s up to her,” the head of Five-O told him.

“Oh, dear,” Stoltz said sadly, seeing them out of his office.

As the sun was setting, Kono knocked on Steve’s door. He came into the room looking excited. “We didn’t find the money, but we found a hidden compartment on the boat. It had copies of those pictures of Hagen in it!” Kono told McGarrett.

“Anything else?” Steve asked, standing up from his desk chair.

“A pair of handcuffs and some...other things.”

McGarrett raised an eyebrow. “Other things?”

Kono looked uncomfortable. “I’m...I’m not sure what some of it was for. We sent everything to the lab.”

“OK, write up a full account, and get me the lab report as soon as possible,” his boss told him.

Steve sighed. The lab report sitting on the desk in front of him had revealed three sets of fingerprints on the pictures found on the boat—Matthewson, Hagen, and Brian Howard’s. Howard’s and Hagen’s on the handcuffs. Chin had reported that Eric had no alibi for Matthewson’s murder, although neither did Mrs. Howard and her son.

Eric, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. You were always willing to use your body to get ahead. But I just can’t believe you’re capable of cold-blooded murder, McGarrett thought, rubbing his eyes.

Danny came in. “It’s late, Steve, you should get some rest.”

“You go ahead and go home, Danno. I’m going to think about this a bit longer.”

“Steve...this is no ordinary case, not for you. Don’t you think maybe you should step back and let the rest of us handle it?”

“No. I have to take care of this,” Steve snapped.

Williams looked like he’d like to say something else, then sighed, and said, “Goodnight, Steve.”

Driving home after dinner, a greasy burger eaten at a diner, Danny found he couldn’t get his mind off Steve and Eric.

Why is Steve acting so odd about this case? He obviously doesn’t want me with him when he talks to Hagen, and I can’t understand why. There’s no reason for him to hide that we’re lovers—it’s not like his ex-boyfriend would be shocked by that.

He made a left turn.

Or is there a reason he doesn’t want Eric to know about us? he thought unhappily, not wanting to contemplate the most obvious possibility.

As he pulled into the parking lot of his condo building he sighed. I suppose not being at Steve’s gives me a chance to catch up on the stuff I need to do around the apartment. I need to take some suits to the cleaners. I should really have my gray suit cleaned, but I left it at Steve’s. Maybe...maybe I should go pick it up...no reason why not, right?

McGarrett was carrying the remains of his take-out dinner to the kitchen when there was a knock at the door.

He felt an involuntary lift of spirits at the thought that it might be Danny. Better if it isn’t. The absolute last thing I need is to have Eric take it into his head to show up while Danny’s here, he admonished himself.

Opening the door, he found himself looking into a familiar but much less welcome face.

“Steve!” Eric Hagen, in his captain’s uniform, greeted him exuberantly as usual, but his grin seemed a bit forced.

“Eric,” McGarrett replied resignedly. “What are you doing here?”

“Just...just a friendly social visit,” the blonde man said. “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”

“I suppose it’s unavoidable,” Steve said, stepping back to allow Eric to pass, then closing the door behind him. “You really shouldn’t be here. You’re a witness in an ongoing murder investigation.”

“Come, Steve, you can’t really think I killed anyone,” Eric said, draping himself on the sofa and putting his hat on the coffee table. “You know me too well.”

“Yes. I know you too well,” Steve said, crossing the room to stand facing the dark mirrors of the glass lanai doors.

Eric slid gracefully to his feet and came to stand behind him, looking over McGarrett’s shoulder at their reflections. “Steve,” he began, resting a hand lightly on the small of Steve’s back, “You know I’ve never been much for apologies. But...I’m sorry about how things ended between us.”

Blue eyes met in the glass. “I find that hard to believe,” the dark haired man said, a touch of bitterness in his voice.

“It’s true, though,” Eric said softly. “That was a long time ago. I’ve grown up since then. I’ve missed you, Steve....”

“I find that hard to believe, too,” McGarrett said, turning to face his ex-lover.

“You always were a skeptic,” Eric said with a smile. “Let me convince you.”

Eric put his arms around Steve’s neck. He was leaning in for a kiss and Steve was putting a hand on his chest to shove him away when there was a soft knock at the unlocked front door, which opened to reveal Danny, looking at them with his blue eyes wide.

Shit! Steve thought explosively, hastily pulling free of Eric and stepping back. Danno, I’d be glad to see you, but your timing is rotten. At least with that startled expression Eric should believe you’re surprised to see me with a guy.

“Detective Williams,” McGarrett said, quickly marshalling his thoughts and crossing to where Danny stood in the doorway. “Was there something urgent you needed to report on the case?”

“What...what is he....” Danny trailed off, looking at Hagen.

“Purely a social call on an old friend,” Eric said, joining Steve at the door. “No discussion of the case at all.” He put an arm familiarly around Steve’s waist and looked over Steve’s shoulder at the sandy haired detective.

“He’s cute. A little young for you, isn’t he, though?” Eric asked into Steve’s ear.

“I don’t know what you’re insinuating, but you’re off base,” Steve snapped, removing Eric’s arm. Just beautiful. Eric already suspects the truth. I have to get Danny out of here.

“Williams. Can your report wait until morning?” McGarrett asked.

“I...I....” Danny seemed slightly stunned.

“Good,” Steve declared. “I’ll see you in my office first thing. Good night,” he said, stepping back and closing the door. Eric, I see you haven’t lost your touch for causing trouble....

Danny drove away from Steve’s place without any idea where he was going. In his mind’s eye he kept seeing them, Eric’s arms around Steve’s neck, Steve’s hand resting on Eric’s chest. I didn’t really think I’d find them together, he thought miserably. Maybe...maybe it was entirely Eric making a move, and Steve just hadn’t stopped him yet. Yeah, keep telling yourself that....

He realized that he was driving towards the ocean, and decided that a walk on the beach might help him get his thoughts in order. Steve...you’d tell me if you were through with me, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you? he thought in anguish.

When Danny arrived at Five-O Headquarters the next morning McGarrett was already in his office. He doesn’t look like he slept any more than I did, he thought, resolutely trying not to imagine what Steve might have been doing that kept him awake.

“Good morning, Steve.”

“Morning, Danno.” McGarrett gave him a half smile, setting down the report he’d been re-reading.

“What’s the plan for this morning?” his partner asked.

“I wish I knew.” Steve rubbed his eyes.

“Steve....” Danny began. I want to ask him about last night, but I’m half afraid to hear the answer....

The telephone rang.

McGarrett picked it up. “Good morning, Governor. No, we’re still following up leads on this one....”

Danny left Steve to his phone call, going back out to the outer office. As he tidied the desk in his cubicle, he heard the front door to the office open and close. He looked up to find the person he least wanted to see at the moment crossing the office to talk to Jenny.

“Jenny, my dear! Is Steve in?” Eric asked.

“He’s on a call with the Governor, I’m afraid. If you’d like to take a seat, I’ll let you know when he’s available,” she told him.

“Perhaps I’ll just have a word with Detective Williams while I wait,” he said, sauntering over to Danny’s office. He knocked on the door frame, then, without waiting for an invitation, came in and leaned on the edge of Danny’s desk.

Danny got up from his chair, folding his arms and glaring at Eric. “Hagen. Can I help you with something?” he asked.

“Yes, I think you can,” Eric said.

“Aloha, Governor,” McGarrett said, putting the phone receiver back on the hook. I guess when a wealthy taxpayer dies, I should expect the Governor breathing down my neck. Just what I need on top of everything else....

The phone buzzed.

Steve picked it up. “Yes, Jenny?”

“Steve, Mr. Hagen is here to see you,” his secretary told him. “He’s in with Danny right now.”

In with Danny...oh, no.... “I’ll be right there,” McGarrett said, hastily hanging up the phone and bolting for his office door. As he opened the door and turned toward his second-in-command’s cubicle, he heard a crash, and Jenny gasped.

“Danny!” she exclaimed in concern, jumping to her feet, as her boss reached the cubicle doorway and stopped short, startled.

McGarrett’s ex-lover had Danny by the shoulders, and was holding him against the window and kissing him.

“Eric!” Steve snapped, crossing the space in one stride and grabbing the blonde man’s shoulder in a punishing grip to yank him away from his partner. “In my office!” He glanced over at Danny. “You OK, Danno?”

“Yeah...I’m fine, Steve,” he said, looking slightly dazed.

McGarrett steered Eric forcibly into the outer office, pausing to reassure his worried secretary that Danny was unharmed and everything was under control. I hope she didn’t get a good look at what Eric was actually doing.... he thought.

Once in his own office with the door closed, McGarrett deposited Eric in one of the white chairs in front of his desk and stood in front of him, glaring down. “What the hell was that?” he demanded.

“Is it really any of your concern who Williams kisses?” Eric asked him, lounging in the chair at ease and smiling.

“It’s my concern that the members of my team not be harassed at work!” McGarrett closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath. “Eric. Was there something you wanted to tell me?”

Hagen stood and went to look out the window. “I was just wondering about the progress of your investigation,” he said. “It’s very stressful, not knowing....”

“Yeah. It’s stressful for all of us,” Steve told him dryly, perching on the front of his desk. “If you want the investigation to progress, try telling us the truth.”

“Steve!” Eric said, turning to face the head of Five-O and putting a hand over his heart. “I am telling you the truth. I don’t know why you persist in not believing me.”

“Eric.” McGarrett leaned forward. “I’m a cop. And I know you. You’re not giving me the whole story. Why are you here? What is it you’re afraid we’ll find?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Eric said evasively, standing and walking away from Steve towards the door. “Perhaps I’m just here to see the delectable Detective Williams. Those innocent blue eyes....” he said over his shoulder.

“I’ll walk you out,” McGarrett said through clenched teeth.

After seeing Eric safely through the front door of the outer office, Steve returned to his desk to call the district attorney. He’s hiding something. It’s time I found out what it is...and if he touches Danny again, so help me, I’ll break his arm....

Later that afternoon McGarrett, the search warrant safely in his jacket pocket, strode into the outer office and looked around for his team.

He found Danny and Kono in Williams’ office, piles of financial records spread across the desk.

“Any progress, Danno?” McGarrett asked.

“A whole lot of nothing,” his partner said, looking up from the stack of bank statements he was sorting. “As far as I can tell, the Howards’ financial lives are open books.”

“Keep at it,” Steve told him. “Kono, you’re with me.”

“Where’re we going, boss?” the Hawaiian detective asked, getting up from his seat in front of the desk.

“We’re going to search Eric Hagen’s hotel room. Oh, and Danny—I want you to continue to follow up with the Howards’ friends.”

“But....” Danny protested to McGarrett’s back as he strode from the room.

Eric answered the door of his suite. “Steve? What a nice surprise to see you again so soon,” he said, smiling, but with wary eyes. “And I don’t believe we’ve met?” he looked over at Kono.

“Eric.” McGarrett said grimly, taking a folded piece of paper from his jacket pocket and handing it over. “This is a warrant to search your room.”

“A search warrant? Steve! Surely you don’t really believe I have anything to do with these murders?” Eric protested.

“That’s what we’re here to find out,” McGarrett snapped, walking past him into the room.

Steve, Kono, and the two HPD officers with them started thoroughly going over the room. Hagen stood watching with his arms crossed, leaning against the door.

“Steve, I found something in the bottom of this drawer!” Kono called to his boss from the bedroom.

McGarrett stopped searching the couch cushions in the living room, and went to see what the Hawaiian detective had found. He found Kono was holding beige envelope in his gloved hands. He carefully withdrew a sheaf of black and white photos, an envelope of negatives, and a stack of bills.

Kono flipped through the money. “Looks like about $5,000,” he said, looking up at Steve.

McGarrett spread the photos out on the bed. They were taken from an odd angle and slightly blurry, but they clearly showed two men having sex in the cabin of a boat. Eric Hagen and Brian Howard.

Steve sighed. He returned the photos to the envelope and gestured for Kono to follow him back to the living room. His expression grim, McGarrett said, “Eric Hagen, you are under arrest for the murders of Richard Matthewson and Brian Howard. Book him, Kono.”

Eric’s face went white. “Steve! No! What did you find? Please, you have to believe me, I’m being framed!”

Kono handcuffed him and informed him of his rights.

“Steve! Help me!” Eric shouted as Kono led him out the door.

Steve sank into a chair and covered his eyes. Eric, Eric, you always spent a lot of time in hot water, but you’ve really done it this time. This evidence together with the sunglasses is almost certainly enough to put you away for Matthewson’s murder. But I just can’t believe it....

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