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LUCKY MAN

 

He

entered the bar shaking off the raindrops that were clinging to his jacket.
He adjusted his eyes to the dimmed light and saw that there was a free booth at the bar. Some tables were occupied. He passed
them and sat down at the bar. The bartender gazed at him questioningly and he ordered a beer. Looking around he noticed a
small stage on the left where two men were unpacking their instruments. He loved music and his mood lightened. Sipping from
his beer he thought of the last anniversary where he had been forced by his best friend to sing his original composition.
A light smile appeared on his face. He downed his beer and ordered the next one. Starring into his drink he tried to remember
why he had stepped into this bar but he had no clue. Chuckling he was about to order the third beer when an announcement came
from the stage. He turned his head and his heart skipped a beat. A beautiful woman stood there, a microphone in her hand.

Accompanied by her friends she started to sing a well known song. Her
clear voice filled the little bar and he was mesmerized by her appearance. Long dark hair framed the lovely face. She wore
a white blouse and a long flowered skirt. A broad belt decorated her slim waist.

He couldn’t take his eyes off her. The next song was another popular
song and he found himself summing to it.

The woman took the steps down from the stage and walked toward the bar.
Finishing her song and receiving the applause, she approached the man and took his hand. He couldn’t resist her, so
he followed her. Suddenly he was standing on the stage as well. The band introduced the next song: "Lucky Man".

Without having rehearsed, he was able to sing the song, joined by her
sweet voice. He became more confident and sang louder now…

"Blondie, no offense! But have you ever heard yourself singing in your
sleep? It’s time to change places. It’s your turn to watch the warehouse. I need some shuteye."

A familiar hand rubbed his shoulder to awaken him.

"Sorry," Hutch croaked, wiping his tired eyes, "must have been dreaming."
He straightened in the backseat when the weight of his partner slumped down on him almost crushing his lower body.

"Starsk! Can’t ya wait a minute?" Readjusting his limbs Hutch forced
himself forward till he was sitting, panting and sweating, in the driver’s seat.

Light snoring reached him from the back seat. Starsky must have been beat,
Hutch thought. He didn’t begrudge Starsky the well-needed rest. He, for himself, had had a wonderful dream. Thinking
hard what the dream had been about Hutch saw a lovely face in his imagination. He had met a girl and had sung with her. The
memories became so vivid again that Hutch even remembered the song.

One night later…

"Ya know, watching this warehouse for the second time without having seen
anything to show for it so far isn’t the activity I’m dreaming of," Starsky complained sometime about midnight.
"Go to sleep for a couple of hours, Hutch. I’ll go get some coffee and listen to the radio. Should anyone show up I’ll
shoot him," Starsky joked.

Hutch rolled his eyes, squeezed his partner’s shoulder and settled
in the back seat. The sounds of the radio accompanied him into sleep.

"Ken, I’m so sorry, but I can’t sing with you tonight."

"Why not?" Holding her face in his hands Hutch saw the sadness she tried
to hide behind a smile.

"My voice was giving me trouble the last time. It’s hard to swallow
and singing is almost impossible. I have to see a doctor, I’m afraid," she sighed, leaning against him. Caressing her
hair he comforted her trailing kisses along her temple.

"It will be all right, you’ll see," he soothed her.

Their performance was announced. "I can’t sing without you," he
whispered and she smiled back.

"Do it for me. Your voice is so strong, everybody will love the songs
when you sing them. Come on Ken, go ahead." Hutch kissed her and let her push him gently onto the stage.

His heart beat fast when he took the microphone and turned to the audience
to start his first song. His eyes were searching for her but he couldn’t see her. She was gone!

With a moan he left the stage…

"Hutch? Something wrong?"

Hutch blinked. Concerned blue eyes were looking down at him.

"Nothing’s wrong," Hutch mumbled frowning.

"Did you have a nightmare?" Starsky’s soothing fingers brushed over
Hutch’s temple.

"Only a dream about a girl," Hutch said and got the expected answer.

"Wow, that’s really frightening!" Starsky wiggled his eyebrows.

Hutch batted Starsky’s hand away and sat up.

"Let’s do our business; watching that damned warehouse!"

Hutch had returned to reality shoving the images of the dream aside.

The next day…

"Captain, It’s no use to go on with that stake-out! There were no
activities so far. The informant must have set us up with his information. Probably the biggest slave trader organisation
has been handled somewhere else and we’re wasting our time. We shouldn’t …"

"Stop it, Starsky!" Dobey hollered. In a calmer voice he added: "We have
precise information that till the weekend the arrival of about 100 women is advised. It’s the only warehouse that is
big enough to handle such a large number of people. Trust me, something is going to happen." His worried glance kept on Hutch.
"You get enough sleep, Hutchinson? I need you in good shape, the same with you, Starsky." Dobey looked at them thoughtfully
when he dismissed his best detectives. He had seen the exhaustion on their faces. After this case he would give them a couple
days off.

Starsky yawned repeatedly. "Any movement over there?" he asked Hutch who
was observing the area.

"Nada," he stated, putting the binoculars down.

"Shit!" Starsky cursed, shifting in his seat to get more comfortable.

"Get some rest," Hutch said watching his partner affectionately as he
stretched his legs against the dashboard and settled back. Soon Starsky was asleep. Hutch turned the radio on softly and concentrated
on the warehouse. One moment he thought he saw a movement at the corner of the building but it seemed to be only in his imagination.
The minutes went by, the music had a drowsy effect on Hutch and before he knew it sleep overcame him…

He rushed through the entrance door of the hospital. They all seemed to
know where he wanted to go and showed him the way. Finally he stood in front of the door. He wiped sweaty hands on his jeans
being afraid of opening the door. He had been looking for the woman he loved for weeks and was about losing hope when Huggy
had found a trace. He hesitated, fearing what he would find inside. Straightening he took heart and opened the door.

At first he couldn’t see anything because of the darkness in the
room. The blinds were drawn and only when his eyes had adjusted to the darkness was he aware of a bed on the left.

Slowly he went nearer and his heart skipped a beat. In front of him a
once beautiful woman was lying there, the pale face framed by the now thinned black hair. Sunken facial features indicated
that something horrible was going on there.

"Here you are," he mumbled reaching out for her to take her thin hands
into his. Fearful eyes looked at him.

"How did you find me?" Her voice was barely audible and he leaned closer.

"You mean it took a long time," he smiled tiredly. "Well, I’m a
cop and I got some help from…"

"I don’t want you to see me this way!" She interrupted
him and turned her head to the other side, annoyed that he had seen her in such an unhealthy state.

He felt helpless at her reaction. She was the love of his life and was
acting strange.

"Why did you disappear? First I was waiting for you. Then I started looking
for you desperately." He slipped his hand under her chin, felt the coldness of her skin and was terrified.

"Sweetheart, what’s.."

"Go, Ken! It’s all over!" She said desperately.

"What has happened?" Hutch sat down on the bed, taking her hands in his,
but she jerked herself free.

"I have cancer – and now leave me alone – I can’t go
on living this way!"

With a sudden movement she opened the nightstand and removed out a pistol.
Pointing it at her temple she pulled the trigger.

"Noooo!" Hutch cried lunging forward.

Startled, Starsky awoke from the horrified scream right next to him. Hutch
was thrashing around in the driver’s seat, his arms moving uncontrolled.

"What’s up, buddy?" Starsky tried to get a hold on Hutch’s
arms to calm him down.

Then something caught his eye. People were running out of the warehouse.
A van was standing at the corner. Three or four men jumped into the car and sped away.

"Dammit!" Starsky cursed and groped for the microphone calling for back
up.

Agitated Hutch looked at his friend. After a few moments after having
composed himself he whispered, "I fell asleep, and she shot herself. It was terrible!"

Starsky efficiently checked his weapon and started to get out of the car
as he looked at

Hutch in concern. "What’re you saying?"

"She’s dead. The woman I love…" Hutch croaked and received
another worried glance from his partner.

"C’mon buddy, you were dreaming. Get it together, we've got to check
out that warehouse. There have been some movement while we…" Starsky stopped talking when he saw the guilt in Hutch’s
face.

Crawling out of the car Hutch tried to forget about the vivid images of
his dream. Numbly he followed his partner.

Approaching the warehouse they heard voices from the inside calling desperately
for help.

At the side of the building a metal door was half open. With drawn weapons
they stepped into the large hall. In the middle a large group of young women were gathered looking at something on the floor.

"Police!" Starsky shouted and one of the women came toward them with tears
running down her face.

"Officer, help us! They shot her!" She pointed to the centre of the group.
In long strides Hutch ran to the body on the floor. The woman lay on her stomach. Her back was bloodsoaked. Carefully Hutch
turned her to see if she was still alive.

He gasped when he saw her face. It was half-hidden by long black hair.
The woman was dead – and she resembled the woman in his dream in a bewildering way.

"Oh no," Hutch moaned running his hand along the woman’s long hair.
"It can’t be possible." He slumped down beside her, checking for any vital signs with trembling fingers.

A hand squeezed his shoulder and Starsky said in a calm voice, "She’s
dead, Hutch. They shot her from behind, probably when she tried to escape."

"It’s my fault. If I hadn’t fallen asleep she would be alive,"
Hutch mumbled in despair, unable to move from her side.

Starsky bent down to his partner. He put his hand under Hutch’s
elbow and said quietly, "We’ll talk about it later, Hutch. Now get up and help me get some information from these other
women." Supported by Starsky Hutch got up still looking deranged.

"You got a pencil?" Starsky asked Hutch while rummaging in his pockets.

"Thanks," Starsky took it with a little smile and scribbling something
on his little notebook, he asked the women, "Can one of you tell me what happened exactly and who brought you here?"

The women seemed to be still in shock, but finally one of them was able
to talk.

"She wanted to leave and when they didn’t let her she screamed and
broke away. One of the men lost his nerve – then it was too late. My God, it could have been me. I also was about to
run out." The woman started to cry and Hutch couldn’t bear the situation any longer.

"I’m going outside to check on the backup, okay? You can handle
the questioning alone for a while?" he asked Starsky.

Starsky was concerned about Hutch’s pale face. He nodded and gently
patted Hutch's back as the man walked away.

Hutch stumbled outside. His thoughts were whirling in his head. How was
it possible that he dreamed about a lovely woman who came to death and shortly after that they had to investigate in a crime
that was about a woman being shot that resembled his dream lady exactly?

The black and whites arrived and Hutch informed the officers and called
for the coroner and the crime lab. Leaning into the car to put the microphone back he startled when someone embraced him from
behind.

"Wha..?"

"Hey, it’s only me," Hutch heard Starsky’s soothing voice.
Hutch relaxed a moment against his friend, feeling the tension in his body disappear. It was amazing how Starsky was able
to calm him down.

"Let’s head home. Then tell me all about your dream and what’s
bothering you! We’ll find a way to work it out." Starsky gently handed Hutch into the car, motioned him to scoot over
till Starsky could sit on the driver’s side.

Starsky knew about Hutch feeling guilty easily for things he wasn’t
responsible for. In this case he couldn’t have prevented the crime, Starsky was sure.

"It’s my fault," Hutch said, rubbing his hands nervously.

"Stop it. Try to relax."

Starsky lay his hand on Hutch’s thigh and squeezed it lightly. Looking
into concerned blue eyes of his partner, Hutch felt as if a load was taken off his mind. Having Starsky by his side he felt
better already.

"Hey, we’re here. Let’s turn in." Starsky got out of his car.
Hutch had to admit that he didn’t want to be alone this night. Slowly he followed Starsky up the stairs. Starsky opened
his apartment door switching on the light. Yawning heavily he pointed to the couch.

"You wanna take the couch or we could share the bed and you can tell me
about your weird dream." Starsky asked and disappeared into the bathroom.

Hutch knew that there was no way he would be able to sleep as the image
of his dream still haunted him. Maybe he could watch some TV till morning. He slumped down on the couch turning the TV on
with the volume muted.

"The bathroom is yours." Starsky said glancing over to the TV and stepped
into the bedroom, leaving the door open.

Hutch washed up and returned to the couch. He stretched out on the cushions
to get a little more comfortable watching TV listlessly.

"Are you gonna tell me now about your dream or what?" Starsky asked from
the bedroom.

"Just go to sleep, Starsky. It’s not that important," Hutch tried
to placate.

"Can’t sleep." He heard Starsky answer.

"Me neither," Hutch mumbled and made the decision to join his partner.

With an inviting grin Starsky pointed to the empty space next to him and
Hutch settled on the bed leaning against the headrest.

"So?" Starsky asked and Hutch sighed.

"It started as a dream where I met this gorgeous girl. She sang in a club
and I sang with her. I even remember the song: "Lucky Man"."

"Yeah, I heard you singing in your dream," Starsky chuckled and started
humming the song.

"Ya know, Starsk, somehow I fell in love with her – though I can’t
even remember a name. It drove me nuts when the dream turned out to be a nightmare. In the last dream she shot herself in
front of me and I couldn’t do anything to prevent it. And when we found that woman in the warehouse I saw my dream come
true in a way. She was such a beautiful girl… And if I hadn’t fallen asleep she could be still alive." Hutch sounded
consciously of guilt.

"Now don’t you mix up your dream with the things that happened in
the warehouse," Starsky said, turning onto his side to face Hutch. "It’s all right, you fell asleep. It was our third
night on this stakeout. It was just too much. Don’t blame yourself, Hutch. C’mon, lay back and get more comfortable."

Starsky adjusted a pillow behind Hutch’s head and Hutch shifted
till he was lying on the bed.

Both men lay on their backs, looking at the ceiling where they saw themselves
in the large mirror. Hutch often had made fun of the mirror teasing Starsky needing such a stimuli to be successful with the
ladies.

"You wanna get rid of your jeans?" Starsky asked wiggling his eyebrows
and Hutch snorted. "Better not."

Suddenly all the tension vanished and both men started laughing hysterically
looking at themselves in the mirror.

"Back to business," Starsky tried to compose himself.

"Well, I asked the women about the men who brought them there, but they
couldn’t tell me a lot. One of the men had a tattoo on his arm. The woman had seen it when he pushed her into the hall.
She couldn’t remember what kind of tattoo it was; something with wings… Then I told them…" Starsky looked
over to Hutch to see that his friend was sound asleep, his hand tucked under his chin.

Starsky leaned over to switch off the bedside lamp. "Sleep tight –
and no nightmares!" he whispered. Then he closed his eyes and was asleep within seconds.

Something warm touched his arm and Hutch stirred.

"Mornin’ sleepyhead. What about a cup of coffee to make you fit
for another day?"

Hutch opened his eyes and saw Starsky sitting on the edge of the bed holding
a cup of coffee against Hutch’s arm.

"How you feeling today?" Starsky smiled. Hutch sat up and leaned against
the headrest.

"Much better, really. Thanks for the coffee. What time is it, by the way?
We’re late, aren’t we?" Hutch frowned and Starsky said, "I’ve called Dobey already. We can come in later
today. They’re still looking for the van and they haven’t identified the woman."

Pensively Hutch mumbled: "Maybe she was a musician, performing in bars…"

"You have an idea?" Starsky asked perching on the bed next to Hutch taking
a sip from Hutch’s coffee.

"Nothing, I was just thinking. You know in the dream the woman had a beautiful
voice. She sang on a little stage in a bar. What am I talking about? It’s nonsense!" Hutch got up. "I’m taking
a shower." He disappeared in the bathroom and Starsky relaxed on the bed again, thinking of a beautiful woman singing in bars…

When they finally arrived at the precinct there was a lot to do. They
didn’t speak about the dream Hutch had had. Reports had to be written. The only clue they were given by the detained
women was the tattoo on one of the men’s arm and the name of the discotheque in Bay City where some of the women were
sent in the past.

Hutch still felt guilty for not having stayed awake during the stakeout.
Starsky had tried to cheer him up. Everything would be all right, so hoped Hutch. First they had to find the murderer of the
young woman. She really looked like the lady from his dream. What a lovely voice she had, Hutch mused. And when she had smiled
at him, he had felt such a love for that woman. He shoved these thoughts aside, concentrating on real life, which meant another
report to write.

"Starsky, Hutchinson. In my office!"

Dobey didn’t seem to be in a good mood this morning, both detectives
noticed. Entering their superior’s room Starsky avoided slamming the door shut using his foot.

"Captain?" Hutch asked attentively.

"Well, the case with the murdered woman in the warehouse isn’t solved
yet, but I want you to have some days off. That means a full weekend for you. So relax and be back on Monday in good shape,
you understand?"

Astounded both men locked glances.

"Of course, Cap," Starsky hurried to say. "C’mon, Blintz, my car
needs to be waxed and you promised me to help…" Starsky dragged his partner outside before Dobey could change his mind.

Hiding a smile Dobey went back to work. He had to keep an eye on his boys.
Hutch looked exhausted as if something was bothering him. Hopefully Starsky could take care of it.

"Starsk! Stop it!" Drenched in foamy water Hutch stood beside the car.
Looking after a beauty passing by, Starsky had forgotten the waterhose in his hand.

"Sorry, partner," Starsky said and a wide grin appeared on his face when
he saw Hutch, a white cloud of foam on his head.

"Hey, you’ve got something on your head. Shall I take care of it?"
and Starsky pretended to use the waterhose again, this time full of purpose.

"Don’t you dare!" The Hutchinson finger pointed in his direction
and Starsky turned back to the car wash, whistling "Lucky Man".

"You know what?" Hutch asked, coming round the car and realizing contented
that Starsky subtly stepped back.

"Why don't we check on that discotheque tonight. Just to see what kind
of people prefer that place. Maybe we get a find out who was responsible for last week," Hutch said seriously and Starsky
nodded.

Looking at Hutch’s soaked shirt and his wet jeans Starsky couldn’t
hold off and added: "Be honest, you only want to impress the ladies with your "Mr wet-T-shirt look!"

This time Hutch laughed wholeheartedly. It was the best sound Starsky
had heard the last days.

"By the way, I need a shower right now," Hutch said but Starsky pointed
at the car.

"Sure Blondie – after the old lady is waxed. I’ll take the
hood, you start with the sides."

Knowing that any protest was useless Hutch started to work and finally
the car looked like new.

Tenderly Starsky moved his hand over the gleaming hood. "It’s my
best thing, my baby. C’mon, Hutch, let’s get ready for our evening out. I'll put the hose away and you take care
of the bucket."

Hutch took the bucket full of dirty water to pour it out. He stumbled
over a brush on the ground, fell against the Torino and the brown liquid gushed over the hood.

"Oops, I’m so sorry!" Hutch said frowning but it didn’t sound
too remorseful.

It was one of the seldom situations when Starsky remained dumbstruck.

The place had seen better days. It said "Lashlight" on the sign; obviously
the "F" had already disappeared or wasn’t illuminated. But the parking lot was filled and people were coming and going.

"Hm, looks like an insider's tip," Starsky mumbled looking after a brunette
with never-ending long legs in a mini skirt and a sparkling top. Scrutinizing, he looked down at himself and opened two more
buttons of his dark blue shirt. His new jeans fit extremely well; he would never admit that he had to lie down to get them
snapped. Trying to get the car keys into his jeans pocket he heard a soft chuckle behind him.

"Problems with those tight jeans? I bet you had to lie down to get them
on," Hutch supposed.

"Stuff it, Hutchinson!" Starsky hissed and went straight toward the entrance.

"Only for selected company!" A square shouldered guy thwarted them, looking
grimly.

"Pardon?" Starsky asked short tempered, trying to get past the bouncer.

He was roughly pulled by his shirt and almost lifted up from the floor.

"As I said: only for selected c…"

Strong arms pushed him against the door and Hutch’s voice was barely
heard.

"Let us in, otherwise I’ll remember that I’ve busted you once,
Jimmy, Jonny or Ginny…whatever your name was."

Turning pale, the man released Starsky and tried to free himself from
Hutch’s grip.

Starsky helped Hutch to keep the man pinned against the door.

"So what?" Starsky grinned and the guy stopped moving.

"Much better!" Starsky hissed and was about to enter the discotheque when
he stopped, looking at the man’s arm. "Nice tattoo you have. Look Hutch, does that remind you of something?"

Hutch saw the eagle with spread wings and the man was pinned against the
door again. Protesting voices from inside were heard for not being able to get out.

"You’ve been in the warehouse where the women were kept. You murdered
one of them!" Hutch was frantic.

"I had nothing to do with it! It wasn’t me. Let me do my job please,
I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’know what you’re talking about!"

"Okay, it wasn’t you. Who was it then?" Starsky’s voice was
deadly calm.

"What do you wanna know? I always wanted to be left out of these things.
I never…"

"Let’s look for a quieter place to talk," Starsky proposed and led
the man round the next corner. Relieved, some guests came out of the building and seeing nobody they shook their head and
left for the parking lot.

"Now spill it – the details!" Hutch’s patience was on edge.

"Promise that you don’ tell my boss or I’m a dead man." The
big guy was sweating profusely.

"You’ll be protected if you give us the information we need," Starsky
said.

"Well, it was Jonny," a fearful glance met Hutch’s, "who lost his
nerves. Ginny," another uncomfortable glance to Hutch, "knocked him out later for being that stupid. Haven’t seen him
since then… I’m wondering…"

"And you ‘re Jimmy," Starsky said and was wondering himself how
Hutch could have known about the names.

"Yes. How d’you know?" Jimmy asked dumbfounded.

"The facts!" Hutch snarled.

The very frightened man told them all he knew about the organisation who
brought illegal immigrants to the States where they were forced to work in dubious dancing halls. When the name Grossman was
dropped Hutch tensed. Almost subtly Starsky leaned into his partner to soothe him.

"I think Jimmy’s going to have the itch to call his boss," Starsky
said.

"Me? Never! Let me…"

"Shut up!" Hutch was on the edge. Locking glances with Starsky, both detectives
made their decision in a silent conversation.

They told the terrified man what they had in mind.

"And if they don’t believe me? Please let me do my job." Jimmy pleaded
but Starsky said convincingly:

"You’ll make it!" and Jimmy was shoved toward the entrance.

Undisturbed the three men entered the dancing hall. Jittering light accompanied
the dancers on the little dance floor.

Jimmy turned left into a dark narrow hall where the phone was.

Dialling a number by heart he wiped his sweaty forehead and listened to
someone.

"Yeah, it’s me. Ya know I have to talk to the boss. It’s urgent.
- Hello, this is Jimmy. Here’s someone who knows all about us. He needs you to help him out of the country. Otherwise
he’s going to inform the police. No, he means it seriously, I’m sure. Yeah, by the way, have you heard of Jonny?
– What? - What d’you mean by that? – You’ve taken care of him? Oh God, not Jonny. How could you do
that? I can’t understand…"

Jimmy’s face paled and Starsky had to remind him of his job by nudging
him in the side.

"Okay boss, the guy here’s in a hurry. He’s gonna make a deal
with you if you meet him right away in the "Flashlight. Okay, see ya." Jimmy almost dropped to the floor. "Jonny is dead."

"So the case is partly solved," Hutch stated calmly. "Can’t wait
to see Grossman again."

"You have to protect me, otherwise.."

"Don’t worry. We take care of our informants," Starsky calmed him.

"What about a drink?" Jimmy asked, his voice a little shaky.

"Good idea. Let’s sit down at the side of the bar in case anyone
recognizes us," Starsky said and they moved to the furthest booths.

Nervously Jimmy watched the door only sipping from his beer. The same
with Hutch whose thoughts went back to Gillian, murdered by Grossman when she had decided to change her life. Grossman had
been to jail for some years and Hutch wondered how long since he had been released. Now he had committed another crime. Hutch
didn’t feel sorry for Jonny. But at least they could bust Grossman again for this crime. And his organisation would
be destroyed.

Hutch sighed and looked around. The dance floor had filled with more people.
The dancers moved in frenzy to the hard rhythm of the music. The flickering light touched their faces for a short moment.
Hutch wiped his tiring eyes and looked in the other direction.

"I’m going to call for back up, just in case," he heard Starsky’s
voice near his ear. Hutch nodded and looked at Jimmy who was still watching the door.

Hutch closed his eyes and opened them again. On the right side of the
bar one of the tables were occupied by a group of drinking and laughing men. One of them stood up to ask the lady at the next
table to dance with him.

She refused and the man looked disappointed and turned to go back to his
table. Hutch was aware of the woman sitting alone at the table and when he looked closer he startled. Long black hair framed
a beautiful face. She was wearing a white blouse and was watching the dancing crowd. Oh my God, it must be a halluzination,
Hutch thought and closed his eyes again. Was it a dream? It couldn’t be the lady of his dreams!

"Hey men, that’s my boss!" Jimmy pointed to the door and retreated
further backward.

Starsky nudged Hutch with his elbow. "Wake up Blondie and let’s
get into action. We…" Starsky looked at the entrance and froze.

An older woman with silver-white hair entered the room. Accompanied by
a man who looked like a body guard, she walked slowly along the dance floor.

"Hutch! - Jimmy, is that your boss?" Starsky stood open mouthed and suddenly
he felt Hutch’s hand squeezing his arm.

"Olga Grossman!" hissed Hutch, now fully aware of the person who had just
come in.

"Yes, she’s the boss since her son died last year," Jimmy whispered
from behind. "Hope you don’t need me anymore." He disappeared.

"What are we waiting for?" Starsky asked. Hutch looked confused but he
understood at once what Starsky had in mind. They parted in different directions to approach their target from behind.

"Sorry to interrupt you but we’d like to have a word with you,"
Hutch said while Starsky had drawn his weapon and held the bodyguard at bay.

"Gentlemen, this must be a mistake. I don’t know you." Hutch continued
starring at her and Olga Grossman winced and tried to turn around.

"Bay City Police. Follow us to the car," and Hutch showed his badge.

"You must have a good cause to take me to the police station," she clamoured
now, looking around searchingly.

"Don’t worry about that," Starsky said calmly.

Two other officers entered the room and led Olga Grossman and the bodyguard
outside.

Because of the loud music and the darkened room none of the people had
noticed the little scene.

Starsky took hold of Hutch’s sleeve and pulled him along with him.
"I’ve had enough of this place. Let’s find some other entertainment, buddy," but Hutch resisted looking around.

"Starsk, you know, just before Olga Grossman came in I saw a woman at
that table over there. She resembled exactly the lady in my dream."

"Don’t start it again, pal! I hoped you would forget these haunting
images. Stop dreaming. I’m sure you’ll find the lady of your dreams some time." At the same moment Starsky knew
how wrong the last sentence had sounded. "I mean you’ll find the love of your life and she won’t be in your dreams!"
Starsky said with determination. Sadly Hutch looked over to the table and wasn’t astounded that it was empty now.

He followed his friend to the exit looking down. Someone bumped into him,
mumbled "sorry" and Hutch looked up to excuse himself.

Concerned blue eyes were looking at him. "Did I step on your toes, sir?
I’m sometimes so clumsy," she said. Her long black hair had fallen in her face and she drew it back with a quick gesture.

"Hm, hm, I –I don’t know – no, you didn’t step
on anything." Hutch stuttered and felt himself blush.

Now she was laughing openly. "Nice to meet you. I’m Sharon. I haven’t
seen you here before. May I buy you a drink?"

Hutch couldn’t believe his eyes. That was the woman from his dream
– and she was quite alive!

"Buddy, are ya coming or…" Starsk had returned to see his partner
talking to a beautiful woman.

"Starsk, this is Sharon and we are going to have a drink. Sharon, this
is Starsky, my best friend and partner."

They all shook hands and Starsky could see the happiness on Hutch’s
face. At least this lady was as fresh as a daisy.

Sipping on their cocktails Hutch asked Sharon if she had ever performed
on a stage and if she was a singer. Starsky rolled his eyes because of these questions and Sharon laughed.

"Oh no, if you would hear me sing you would run away. Though I love music."

"And you love dancing?" Starsky asked and pointed to the dance floor.

"Honestly said, I’m not such a good dancer," she smiled a little
ashamed.

"What are you doing here then?" Hutch wanted to know.

"Well, is this an interrogation? You could be detectives!" she laughed
and ignoring the glances the men threw at each other, she continued:

"I’m writing my thesis about people in discotheques, about their
reasons, their behaviour and so on. Sometimes quite boring, but not always." She smiled at Hutch. Another song was played
and Sharon said:

"That, for example, is one of my favourite songs."

"Lucky Man?" Hutch asked astounded and felt Starsky kick him under the
table. "Hm, would you make an exception and dance with me?" Hutch asked and Sharon nodded.

"If you aren’t afraid of my feet…"

"Not at all!" Hutch laughed. Before he followed her to the dance floor
he bent down to Starsky and whispered: "Tell me it’s not a dream."

"It isn’t," Starsky assured him and for a moment their foreheads
touched.

"See ya!" Hutch said and left for the dance floor. Sharon waited for him
reaching out her arms. Snuggling to each other they danced to the music. Hutch caressed her silky hair, inhaled the fresh
scent of it. He never would forget this moment of happiness.

He had white horses

And ladies by the score

All dressed in satin

And waiting by the door

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

Hutch wanted to tell Sharon about the song and his dream. At the same
time she moved her head and before he knew his lips brushed hers and they sealed their bond with a deepened kiss. Forgetting
all around him, he only knew: The nightmares were gone. The beautiful woman in his arms was real.

What a lucky man he was!

The end

Note: This story relates to the song "Lucky Man" by Emerson,
Lake & Palmer

 

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