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Coming to an Understanding

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She turned, startled, at the touch on her arm.

"Did you forget something, Starsky?"

The touch became a grip, hard and unyielding.

"Hutch really cares, y'know? He... bleeds. Don't—"

She cut him off in mid-growl by pressing her fingers against his lips.

"I'm not gonna hurt him, Darlin'. I'd never do that."

The iron hand loosened, rubbed almost apologetically; but the voice was still rough and menacing, as though he couldn't figure out how to turn it off.

"Just so's we understand each other."

Her eyes flashed once, and her smile lost some of its honey.

"Oh, I understand, Darlin'."