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Distant Shores

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EPILOGUE

 

Memories... sometimes so much sweeter than reality... yet sometimes, the memory of yesterday can be exceeded by the promise of tomorrow...

Starsky sprawled in the middle of the brass bed, waiting for Hutch to come out of the shower. It had been a long day at work, but instead of being tired, Starsky felt keyed up, restless. He was anxious for his lover to come and take him into his arms, couldn't wait for those strong hands to wrap around him and turn him into a pool of jelly.

At last the bathroom door opened, and Hutch came out, a big white towel wrapped around his waist. He came up to the bed and gazed down at him, eyes curious as he tried to fathom what the look in Starsky's eyes meant. Then his eyes traveled over Starsky's body, down his bare chest to where the sheet was pulled up just enough to cover his groin. One tawny eyebrow rose.

"Starting without me?" The soft voice was seductive.

Starsky lifted a shoulder. "Just thinking about you. In there. Warm water and soap suds sliding all over you."

Hutch sat on the side of the bed. "You should have come in with me."

"You're here now."

"Yep. I sure am." Hutch smiled, one hand pushing aside the sheet that was poor concealment for Starsky's erection. Hutch bent to take it in his mouth.

The effect was instant dizziness for Starsky; wracked with pleasure, he fell back against the pillow, hips uncontrollably thrusting as he sought more and more of the delicious heated mouth. In minutes he was at the edge of orgasm.

He willed his eyes to open, taking in the sight of the blond head bent over him. His fingers slid into the long strands of gilt hair, just the touch of that cool, shiny mass adding to the sensations flowing throughout his body. Any second now... Yet he suddenly didn't want it all to be over so quickly. He wanted -- needed -- more. Something they hadn't done together yet, but something that had been on his mind for a long time.

"Hutch," he hissed, fingers clamping in the smooth hair. "Wait."

Hutch stopped, looking up through a spill of blond bangs. "What...?"

"I..." Starsky didn't quite know how to put it into words. He didn't want to sound like a sap, but somehow his desire was so important, he didn't want to voice it too crudely, either. "Let's... I want you to..." He was wryly reminded of their first night together, the awkwardness and hesitation; and the need. Right now, his own was intense.

Hutch was gazing at him intently, eyes slowly growing more perceptive. "You want me?"

"Uh-huh. Please."

"No need to say please, babe." Hutch pressed a soft kiss to the tender skin of Starsky's abdomen. "I'll make love to you. Give you everything you need. Everything I can."

Starsky found himself smiling. "I have a feeling you have everything I need." He reached to undo the wrapped towel around Hutch's waist, finding a beautiful erection, feeling the responsive surge when he wrapped his fingers around it. Hutch, once released from the bonds that had imprisoned him, was a lover as quick to arouse as Starsky himself, and the two of them had rejoiced in the new aspect of their compatibility.

Hutch was getting down to business now, stretching out on the bed, kicking the sheet out of his way and taking hold of Starsky by the shoulders. He kissed him deeply, with enough authority that Starsky actually felt he might pass out. The idea brought a surge of giddiness and he found himself chuckling into the kiss.

"You gonna take me seriously, or what?" his lover growled, nipping at his lower lip.

"You better make damn sure I do," Starsky threatened. He reached up for another kiss and Hutch shifted to lie on top of him, both hands sinking into Starsky's hair, holding his head securely as he took time for a most thorough duel of tongues.

Hutch's lower body began grinding against him and a burst of pleasure spread through Starsky's loins as he felt their two cocks moving together in the tight press of bellies. His own hands slipped down Hutch's back, pulling him closer, encouraging the thrusting movements of his hips. In a powerful mix of joy and need he groaned aloud.

Hutch left his mouth, moving lower with his kisses, tongue tracing along the curve of Starsky's throat, moist lips pressing in the hollow between his collarbones. The passion in the act left Starsky melting inside. Then Hutch's lips traveled over his chest, each taste seeming to create a hunger for more. Hutch ignored no part of him, not even the scars, and Starsky had never felt more treasured.

"You're beautiful," Hutch whispered, his lips hovering over the furred chest, descending to suck, first gently, then with more insistence, at a nipple. Starsky arched up to increase the stimulation.

Hutch had him in his spell and the universe spun down to a place of fantastic sensations. Every part of him was stroked and sampled, nerves brought to life with consummate, commanding lovemaking. He was turned, legs parted, his ass massaged until he was glowing with warmth. A gentle finger probed between his cheeks and one delicate stroke across his anus sent a fire through Starsky's system. The action was repeated, a slow circling, the touch experimental yet eager. Both of them began breathing somewhat heavily. Then, the loving hands both left him.

"Hutch?" He turned his head, lifting up to look for him.

Hutch, his expert lover, looked puzzled. "I... need something..."

Now Starsky understood. "Try some massage oil. I think I put some in your medicine cabinet."

Hutch hurriedly went to get it and Starsky waited for him. The hesitation in the midst of the skillful seduction had something very endearing about it. As recovered as he was, Hutch could get such a little boy expression on his face sometimes. It wasn't a weakness; instead it gave him back the softness that had been eroded by those years on the street. The hard-edged man was someone whom Starsky loved very much, and Hutch could still get angry, indignant over injustice and the world's cruelty, but he didn't let it rule him now. The tender side calmed him down, gave him patience, helped him celebrate life. Hutch was a strong man who had come through fire, and sometimes still had to take the time to seek his way in the world. Starsky was glad to have him at his side while he sought his own way. They'd come through the fire together.

He returned to the bedside, eyes lit from within, and Starsky saw his eagerness had not diminished while he was finding the oil. He swept Starsky into a kiss of greeting, then pushed him back down on the mattress, covering his backside with well-oiled strokes of his hands. When the fingers slipped low this time, a careful probe gained admittance. Starsky gasped in reaction and his head fell onto the pillow, eyes closing as he focused on only sensation. He could picture the finger, the length and shape of it as it pressed into him, and his body rebounded in need. He'd wondered if his sphincter would be able to relax and accept Hutch; now he was reassured that his body would respond as he'd hoped. The addition of a second finger increased the stimulation. Hutch made love to him that way for a while, stretching and easing the way, free hand stroking his ass cheeks, mouth nipping delicately in unexpected places until Starsky was nearly delirious, thrashing on the bed, drawing his knees up, body begging for more.

"God, you're beautiful turned on like this." Hutch's voice slipped like honey over his soul. "So hot... It's like you love everything I do to you..."

"I do, lover. Keep doin' it..." Starsky was fast steaming up, loving each separate thrill as the fingers thrust in and out of him.

"Don't plan on quitting." Fingers still working, Hutch leaned over him, covering his back with kisses, lips moving down the line of Starsky's spine. "You ready? Want me now?" the lush whisper breathed soft at his ear.

Starsky had to take a couple of deep breaths before answering, and then he could just about nod. "Yeah... come on, Hutch... Do it..."

"Then turn over." Hutch's fingers left him, hands taking him by the shoulders to roll him onto his back. Starsky's desire increased a thousandfold at the thought of watching Hutch make love to him.

Their eyes met, a gaze full of heat, as Hutch knelt between Starsky's spread thighs. Starsky's cock stood up hard, and when Hutch leaned forward his own brushed it in a tantalizing meeting of flesh. He placed his hands on Starsky's shoulders, slowly stroking down the length of his torso. Starsky realized he'd broken out in a sweat; his hair was plastered to his forehead and the room felt like the steam bath at a health club. Hutch's hands slowed as they moved lower, finally grasping his cock, each wrapping around it in succession as they stroked up and up its length, milking him until Starsky thought he'd burst right then.

Hutch reached for more oil and began to lubricate his own cock, glancing up to find Starsky's eyes on him. "Want to watch this?" he asked in a throaty voice.

Starsky couldn't tear his gaze away.

The blond's skin was flushed pink, his belly dewed with sweat. The cock he handled was fully erect, standing out from his body, moist head a flare of deeper rose. As Starsky watched the hands in motion, the foreskin slipped up and back, trying to hide the tip, then letting it reappear. He'd never been so turned on just watching someone move before. This was Hutch, though, and he was going to take that huge cock of his and put it inside Starsky. Soon now. Very soon.

One slick hand reached under to lift Starsky's ass and Hutch pulled him close. They spent a few seconds settling into position, both of them keyed up with their thinking processes going out of kilter.

"Hope I can get this right," Hutch said, his voice light with amusement this time.

"Looks like you know what you're doing," Starsky told him. Then, patience exhausted, he begged him to hurry. "Come on! I want you inside me! What're you waitin' for?"

"For you to say that." A self-assured smile appeared on Hutch's mouth. He glanced down, watching as he positioned himself, cockhead pressing at the opening of Starsky's body.

Relax. Let him in, Starsky told himself. We're together, all the way. Finally. His eyes sank closed, but he reopened them in a hurry, not wanting to miss a thing.

The head of the penis felt plush as it probed him, but solid steel was underneath and behind the first push, velvet smoothness covering Hutch's strength. He slipped in slowly, Starsky gasping, shocked that there was so much pleasure in the slow introduction of his lover's flesh into his body.

They rested briefly, Hutch allowing Starsky's muscles to adjust to the new circumference, then he tested his ability to thrust, moving a little further in, then not quite all the way out. It was working, they were becoming one. Starsky remembered to breathe again, watching as Hutch pushed in a little further, and deep interior muscles he'd never known he had reacted to the invasion, stretching, accommodating, being stimulated beyond belief.

Hutch sank all the way in. His eyes closed, his head fell back in abandon, face imprinted with rapture. His arousal was at its peak, and to Starsky he seemed the living embodiment of manhood: joy, strength, health, in all their robust perfection. This couldn't be the same man who for two years had lain lost in a coma. He was strong, in mind and in body, full of life and love. Starsky thought, for the first time, that seeing Hutch this way, he might finally forget.

Then his lover began moving, and Starsky couldn't have philosophized more if his life depended on it. Hutch pounded into him, carried away on the tide of his own need, gripping Starsky's hips to mold them tighter together. Each stroke sent an arc of fire through Starsky's body, each thrust pulling a groan of pleasure out of him. His penis, stiff and taut, needed more stimulation, too, so he reached to wrap his own fingers around it. Hutch's hand got there first, and gave him what he needed, a fast rhythmic stroking, quicker than the long, deep strokes of his thrusts, compounding pleasure until Starsky's system began to overload.

Hutch's eyes opened then, as if Starsky's body had given him some signal. They watched each other as they fucked, gradually transported to a higher plane where love ruled the world, where two men who loved each other could be joined forever. The act of love was a blessing, knitting them together in passion, making each a part of the other's soul.

"I love you -- " The words came from each of them, almost at the same instant.

Hutch bent over him, lips finding Starsky's harsh, gasping breaths, kissing him until he felt faint, still pounding into him, long, deep, soul-stretching thrusts. Deep inside, there was an edge of pain, but Starsky wanted another thrust as each one ended, wanted more and still more pleasure, more of the sweet, transfiguring pain that made Hutch part of him. There'd been so much emotional pain for them, they could handle any amount of the physical, especially knowing that the release and rapture would be so joyous.

We're there. We made it. Starsky's thoughts pounded in rhythm. He reached up, wrapping his arms around Hutch, gripping at his shoulders, dragging his hands down to squeeze and pull at his muscular ass, loving the feel of it flexing as he worked. The thigh muscles felt iron solid, legs continually pushing, and Hutch's breathing was never stronger. He began groaning as the pleasure built, and Starsky knew he was nearing orgasm. The thought of his body giving Hutch so much pushed him over the edge, and almost before he realized, he was spasming in Hutch's hand, seed spilling over his belly and up onto Hutch's.

Hutch yelled out in his passion, body hesitating in its crouch over Starsky, then thrusting deeply again, wrenching another moan of satisfaction, another, another thrust, and then a deep, shuddering joy. Starsky felt his come spill inside him, sealing them together. He savored the sensations. My soul, my body, my all... they're yours.

Hutch slowly pulled out of him when it was over, looking at Starsky with wet eyes. "We did it," he breathed, proud of himself, flushed with pleasure. "Starsk... you were so... you felt so beautiful pulling me in... I wanted to be in you forever..."

"Guess I could arrange that," Starsky mumbled, feeling all the strength begin to seep from his bones.

Hutch reached up to give him a big, very sloppy kiss, then fell down next to him, the echo of Starsky's sated exhaustion.

********

October, 1982

Starsky came out of the cocoon of memory, eyes squinting up at the glaring light. He lay stretched out on the sparkling beach of Daydream Island, warmed by the sun and sand. Daydream Island was a resort along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and one of his and Hutch's last stops of their vacation. They'd spent a month Down Under, celebrating life and their love.

The trip had been a cleansing one, making memories, allowing them to share their differing remembrances of their first trip to the island continent. First, they'd gone to Adelaide to visit the hospital. Starsky would never forget the way Melissa Samuels looked when she saw Hutch walking toward her. The three of them had gone out to dinner, laughing and sharing the friendship that had grown between Starsky and Melissa while Hutch had slept in the corner room of the fourth floor of the Pulteney Nursing Home. She'd looked at Hutch with unconcealed delight in her wide brown eyes and flushed pink when he took her hand and earnestly thanked her for saving his life.

"If not for you, Doctor," he'd said fervently, "I wouldn't have been here when David came looking for me."

Melissa patted his hand with her small one, smiling through a tear or two. "I knew that there had to be someone out there looking for you. All I did was hold on to you until he got here."

Then, taking a rented car not too much different from the one Starsky had explored on his own with, they drove to Coober Pedy, and Hutch had been as amazed as his partner on first seeing the town below ground. Starsky recounted the details of his long search in the foreign land, how people like Jack Donahue, the police detective in Sydney, and John Jarratt, the pilot who'd discovered Hutch unconscious in the bush, had helped him in the quest.

They ran into John himself in a Coober Pedy bar, the same way Starsky had met him in the first place, and the friendly pilot had been pleasantly surprised to see the man he'd found near death so well recovered. Staying over in Coober Pedy for a couple of days, they'd even tried mining, and had found some little opals and a few gold nuggets to take back as souvenirs.

Starsky and Hutch had explored the wonders of the beautiful country together, taking their time, living like tourists, like lovers without a care in the world or a schedule to follow. After visiting Ayers Rock, seeing koalas and kangaroos, and enjoying bustling cosmopolitan areas and even the Sydney Opera House, they ended up on the Sunshine Coast, where both could indulge their love of sports. Boating, fishing, water skiing; they tried it all. Starsky was taken along on innumerable nature hikes and he photographed dozens of trees and birds and inlets with pristine water on white beaches.

He'd taken hundreds of photos, many of them of Hutch, as he'd promised he'd do if he ever had the chance again. He didn't want to have only memories of his partner's happy face as he explored and played on the islands, as he swam in the clear bright waters.

Hutch seemed reborn, alive with light and joy. His hair had turned silver-gold under the burning sun, his body was lean and tan. Starsky knew his own skin was darker bronze than it had been in years, and he felt himself growing healthier here, physically and emotionally. At night, sleeping in each other's arms, there were no more nightmares, and even the unhappy memories did not have the power to hurt as much.

Running feet approached him now, and Starsky quickly closed his eyes, pretending to be asleep. A shock of cool water splashed over his chest, and he sat up in dismay.

"Hey -- can't a guy take a nap on his own vacation?"

Hutch laughed. "You've been napping all afternoon. Come on, Starsk. There's a lot to see here."

"We've seen every bird and sea creature in the whole animal kingdom," Starsky groused, pretending to scowl. "Everything's starting to look the same to me."

"I've had it with your belly-aching," Hutch told him, folding his tall form into a cross-legged position beside his partner's stretched-out length. "Besides, it's all a front and we both know it." He leaned down and pressed a kiss to his lover's mouth.

Starsky sat up when it ended, putting his arm around Hutch's broad shoulders. "Okay, babe," he said in a tone of indulgence, "what do you want to show me?"

Hutch's eyes moved to watch the shore, excitement lighting the blue from within. "Everything." He looked back, lovingly. "Everything, Starsk." He stood, grabbing Starsky's hand and pulling him to his feet as well.

"It's beautiful here, isn't it?" he said happily, starting to walk toward the water's edge, one arm around Starsky's shoulders. "I think this is the prettiest place we've seen on the whole trip."

"I bet that's why they call it 'Daydream Island,'" Starsky concurred. Still, to him, none of the natural scenery could compare to the tall man beside him. Bright flow of hair, perfect curve of cheek, straight nose, full mouth, long sculpted throat, clean-limbed body clothed in white t-shirt and drawstring pants... "Yeah," he sighed, at peace, "sure is beautiful, all right."

"I want to find out about the regulations on importing plants," Hutch went on. "Seitz is anxious to get some new varieties for the store." He was doing well there, but still planned on opening his own shop in time. Hutch made the plants thrive, and proud of being able to hold down the job and earn an income, he thrived, too.

"Strict as they are about bringin' stuff into this country, I'll bet there's not much you're gonna be able to take out," Starsky told him. "Ya might get arrested for smuggling."

"Never," Hutch said complacently. "I've got my own personal police lieutenant. He'll do anything from fixing parking tickets to getting me out of international trouble."

"You think so?" Starsky shook his head, amused by the conversation. He planned to continue with the LAPD. I'll be around long enough to try out for captain. Starsky felt very good, very confident about the future now. Being a cop was his profession and he knew Hutch was very proud of him.

Hutch turned to him, running light fingers around the neckline of Starsky's own white t-shirt, bringing a shiver to his throat. The capable hands smoothed over his shoulders, then slid down his sides where his thumbs hooked in the waist of Starsky's matching drawstring pants. They stood in the loose embrace, becoming very aware of each other.

"You want to start carryin' on on a public beach, or would you rather go back to our room before we do something that'd get us arrested?" Starsky quipped, not too worried about the latter.

"They're pretty free and easy here, babe," Hutch told him. "Pioneer spirit, free thinking... nude beaches... we could get away with anything..."

"All right," Starsky purred, wrapping his arms around him. "I love taking chances, anyway."

Hutch kissed him, but pulled away laughing. "Not now, lover. It's too beautiful out to miss this sunshine."

"All right," Starsky acquiesced. "I love you so damn much you can get me to do anything you want."

"I know." His partner winked, then started off, a proprietary arm around Starsky's waist. They walked for a few minutes, then Hutch stopped, gazing all around at the sea, the sky and the land. Finally, his eyes rested on Starsky, and his smile became tender and warm.

"You know... sometimes I can't believe I'm really here. There were times I thought..."

"I know." Starsky touched his cheek.

"When I woke up, I found that everything in the whole world had changed. Even me. The only part that stayed the same was you."

Starsky couldn't speak. The gentle eyes looked down at him, and he knew he didn't have to say a word.

"Starsk, I can never thank you enough."

"You thank me every day, babe."

Hutch's smile broadened, carried along on pure contentment. "I'm just so happy to be alive!" His chest heaved with a deep-drawn breath.

"Me, too, Hutch."

The arm at his waist squeezed him. Then all at once, Hutch took off at a run, dashing down the beach, bare feet kicking up the sand. He ran full out, supple strength in his legs carrying him along. He glanced back, waving Starsky to come with him.

Starsky broke into a run, too, charging along the sand toward him, legs pumping hard as he laughed in reflected joy, catching up with Hutch and running with him, side by side.

From distant shores, you have brought me home again...

 

 

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