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American Royalty

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The silence in the LTD had stretched too long for Starsky’s liking. Sometimes, quiet was good, in the right and infrequent circumstances, but that was rare for the chatterbox from Brooklyn.

“So, you still mad at me, babe?” he finally ventured with trepidation and sweetness.

Hutch nailed him with a look that proclaimed, This is your fault. “You just had to open that big trap of yours. I wanted to be on the detail guarding the president, but, no, you had to tell that Secret Service agent that you couldn’t wait to meet King Peanut.”

“It was a joke, Hutch. Is it my fault feds don’t have a sense of humor?”

“No, it isn’t, but it is your fault that we’re out watching for god-knows-what on the edge of our jurisdiction. Hell, I even cleaned out the car just in case we got to work that detail.”

Starsky stole a quick look at the back seat; he couldn’t tell much of a difference, except for maybe there was cleaner garbage. And the addition of a bicycle tire pump.

“He’ll be back and by then, the Secret Service’ll have forgotten all about it.”

Hutch snorted lightly. “I don’t think Dobey will have. He’s got the memory of an elephant.”

“And body to go with it.”

Dual snickers followed that comment before another long silence ensued, and the car seemed to fill with Starsky’s pout and Hutch’s disappointment.

Hutch’s sigh, which had a hint of a chuckle in it, disrupted the quiet. “‘King Peanut.’ Good one, Starsk.”

They looked at each other, both faces masking what was so close to revealing itself.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Like a whale breaching the ocean’s surface, raucous laughter erupted from both men.

the end
May 2020