Grabbing Opportunity by the Balls
Hutch rose from his hiding place behind the stack of crates, hands held away from his body, the hair on the back of his head bristling. “I’m a cop,” he said quietly.
“Don’t the hell care if you’re Mother Theresa,” the scar faced man growled. “Toss your Python across the aisle so’s my brother can get it.”
Hutch glanced at the equally tall, thin blond man to his left and threw his weapon onto the floor. It landed between he and the other man, like the demilitarized zone in Korea. Close enough for Hutch to launch himself towards it, given the opportunity, far enough away so Scarfaces’s brother would have to step forward to pick the gun up.
“Let the woman and her son go,” Hutch negotiated. “You’ve got a cop hostage now, you don’t need them.” His heart went out to the woman huddled over the little boy, both of them sobbing in fear.
He was very, very aware of Starsky creeping up on Scarface’s flank and did not even flick his eyes in that direction. Yet every one of his senses reached out to his partner. If Scarface turned, he’d know. If the brother turned, he’d see Starsky.
Hutch had to be their focus. “What’s your name, ma’am?”
“Don’t talk to her!” Scarface sneered, waving his twenty-two in the air. “Her old man shafted us, leaving us with the stolen goods and skipped with the money.”
Hutch knew that. Which was why he was in this precarious position now. “But hardly her fault,” he reasoned.
The little boy stirred, his lower lip trembling. “Gotta pee…” he wailed, and did so, all over the concrete floor.
“Gee-zus!” Brother howled, rubbing his nose. “Whadda…”
The boy cried harder, screaming in his embarrassment, his mother clutching at his arms. “Marco!”
Scarface jerked around, raising his semi-automatic to level it at his hostages as Starsky leapt from the left, shoving his pistol into the criminal’s back. Distracted, the brother went to help Scarface, and Hutch dove for the Python on the floor.
“Run, Marco!” he yelled, coming up into a kneeling to point at both the brothers.
The mother needed no other prompting, she shoved Marco in front of her.
“You’re under arrest,” Starsky said in his deepest, fiercest voice. “You have the right to remain silent…” He recited the Miranda rapidly, pushing Scarface against a wall.
It wasn’t until then that Hutch could look at his partner, vindicated and triumphant. He pulled handcuffs out of his back pocket, clicking them around the brother’s thick wrists, thinking ahead to that evening.
He and Starsky had the whole weekend off. His cuffs would be around Starsky’s wrists in a little over eight hours.
“You’re in my custody,” he said to his prisoner, although he was looking straight at Starsky.
“Yeah,” Starsky said, winking over his shoulder.