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Goblin Market part two

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‘Well, if it isn’t my favourite law enforcement officers!  And…and their friend Tar Baby,’ said Huggy.  He added, ‘I’m never sure if that name is racist or not.’

‘He’s never appeared offended by the name,’ said Starsky.  ‘He seems amused.’

‘He seems amused at being called a Goblin,’ Huggy pointed out.  ‘So maybe lots of things amuse him.’

‘Yes.  Well, he has attempted to teach us how to pronounce the name his people call themselves, and his personal name.  He’s even more amused at the way we mangle those words,’ said Hutch.  ‘But we do keep trying.’

‘How do you communicate with each other?’ asked Huggy.

‘Let me tell you,’ said Starsky. ‘It appears to be a kind of mental telepathy.  Between Hutch and the Goblins, I mean.  I swear, Huggy.’

‘Well, Hutch is weird enough, that’s true.  What are you guys up to, bringing Tar Baby around here?’

‘We’re getting him more accustomed to being around a lot of humans,’ said Starsky.  ‘It’s a scary proposition for anyone, even humans, being around other humans, and we need to know if he can handle it.  Or not, as the case may be.’

‘We’re leaving in a few days on a visit to my home planet,’ Hutch explained.  ‘Some of my family are human.’

‘What about the rest of them?’ Huggy wondered.  ‘Starsky?  Has he ever explained that?  What he really is, I mean?’

‘After much effort, and threats to never let him torture me again, I managed to get the name of his home planet, and his family name.  That’s it so far.  Except…the other half of his heritage are not Elves.  That narrows down the field a bit.’

‘More than I ever learned,’ said Huggy.

‘Yeah, well, it’s a big secret, so….’

‘It’s not a big secret,’ said Hutch. ‘I just don’t like talking about my home and family.  That part of my life is over.  Or I thought it was.’

‘You really want to get involved in this situation, Starsky?  Not knowing what you’re in for, following this guy into the unknown?’

‘Huggy, I am involved.  Where he goes, I go.  Even if he’s heading to Hell, I’m with him.’

‘Starsky….’

‘Hutch!’

‘Starsky, I’m glad of your company, but I don’t want you to feel you have to….’

‘I have to, Hutch.  It’s in my soul.  You’re in my soul.’

‘That’s why.  That’s why I’m never going to torture you again.  Quit joking about it.  It’s never going to happen.’

Starsky shrugged.  ‘Okay.  I don’t really want it anyway, for myself I mean.  I don’t enjoy it.  But whatever you need from me, it’s yours.’

Hutch took his hand, and kissed it.  ‘This is what I need from you,’ he said.

‘That’s why I’m trusting this man so much, Huggy.  He trusted me when he knew nothing about me.  When I was just an ex-con, sent here to work in the mines, he trusted me.  And he treats me like a prince.  He’s the real prince.  So I trust him.  However weird his home planet is, I trust him.’

‘But you still want to know more about me.’

‘Of course I do.  I want to know all about you.  You fascinate me.’  Starsky reached out and traced the beautiful line of Hutch’s mouth.  ‘This fascinates me.’

‘Okay, you two,’ said Huggy.  ‘Time you were heading home, I do believe. Will I see you before you head on out into mystery territory.’

‘Yeah, we’ll say goodbye before liftoff,’ Hutch assured him.  ‘Don’t worry.’

 

It was getting dark, and the Fence was already lighting up, as Starsky drove them home.  Tar Baby pointed at it and smiled.  ‘Keep out,’ he said. 

‘Yes,’ said Hutch.  ‘Exactly.  Starsky, were you serious when you said you’d follow me anywhere?’

‘No, it was all a joke.  Really, Hutch.’

‘Well, if you had been serious, would you go with me to see Morgan before….’

‘Morgan?  The tree?  Now?’

‘Morgan.  The tree.  Now.’

‘It’ll be dark soon.’

‘I know.  I’ve tried to find the tree in daylight, but they all look alike to me.  Maybe in the dark?  We were safe that night with the Goblins.  Maybe we’ll be safe tonight.’

‘I said I’d follow you into Hell, Hutch.  I followed you that night.  You’re in my soul.’  Starsky turned the flyer toward the Fence.  ‘Where should I put us down?  Inside the Fence, or out?’

‘Out,’ said Hutch.  ‘Close to the forest. You okay, Tar Baby.’

The Goblin grinned.  ‘Okay,’ he said.  ‘We okay.’