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My Secret is My Prisoner

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Chapter Thirty-Four

 

As the landing gear tucked up into the ascending aircraft rapidly disappearing into the clouds, Starsky sunk down next to the cab and parked his butt on the curb, head in hands.

“I had a chance. Probably my last chance. And he’s gone.”

Agent Greg Woodford, dressed down as an inner city taxi driver, got out of the cab and walked around to the rear stopping in front of the seated Starsky. “Maybe he wasn’t on the plane,” he said sounding more like he was trying to convince himself. “Maybe… maybe they scuttled the aircraft to get it out of here.”

“He’ll never know.” Starsky wasn’t having any attempts of placation. “I’ll never get to tell him…”

Greg leaned back against the trunk of the car with arms folded in front of him. “I’m sorry, Dave. I tried. I know how you feel…”

Agent Woodford had no warning from Starsky when the angered cop rose up and charged him, pinning him on his back against the solid car trunk.

“It… It… It…. It’s not fucking about you, Woodford. And, NO, you don’t know how I feel.”

Starsky stayed half on top of the agent, his feet barely touching the ground as the death grip he had on the other man’s jacket lapels threatened to cut off all feeling to his hands.

“Let go of the cabbie, mister,” a voice came from behind, “or I’ll have to introduce you to the inside of a jail cell.”

Greg and Starsky never took their exasperated eyes from each other as the agent reached into his back pocket and pulled out his FBI badge and ID. “FBI special agents,” he said with a pitched voice trying to sound calm and in control. “We got this. You can move on, officer.”

“You sure, sir? Looks like this punk has other ideas.”

With what felt like hours of breath held prisoner in his lungs, Starsky exhaled as he pushed away from Greg and put his hands in the air in surrender, walking away from both men, finally coming to a stop at the same curb he had started from, hands on hips in an attempt to hold in his angered grief.

“Officer, I’d appreciate it if you just walk away. We’re both working under cover,” Woodford said waving at Starsky and then back at himself. “We need to get back to work.”

The officer looked back and forth between the two, then pointed at the airfield. “You must be part of that whole entourage that was here earlier. About six big black cars, Highway Patrol lead and tail cars with full rack lights. Must have been someone pretty important.”

That caught Starsky’s attention. “Yeah, we were supposed to be here. Got caught up in traffic,” he expertly lied. “You saw who got in that private jet? Did they get out of those cars?”

“Yeah. Sure. I was on the detail securing traffic on and off the tarmac.”

Greg pushed away from the cab and joined Starsky. “What did you see?”

“Not much. It was fast. We were only given a twenty minute heads up. Cars drove right up to the jet.”

“Who boarded?” Greg continued.

“I don’t know. Maybe three, four people.”

Starsky wasn’t sure he wanted to hear the answers but pushed forward anyway. “What’d they look like?” He didn’t want to hear the tell-tale identifying features of his partner. He wanted to believe that Hutch was still in California, preferably in Bay City.

“Most of them were wearing dark suits. You FBI agents all look alike, ya know. I don’t mean no disrespect, but the whole going-to-a-funeral look gets old, ya know?”

“So they were all in suits?” Greg took over.

“No. The one in the middle – the one that was clearly being protected - had on a white dress shirt and dark tie. Tall. He really stood out with all that blonde hair. Oh,” he added with a smarmy laugh, “and he had a… a fucking guitar, of all things.”

Starsky hiked his rear up onto the trunk of the cab and sat crisscross with his exhausted and sullen head drawn down in privacy besought. It was not lost on Woodford who pulled the uniformed airport cop to the curb by the elbow.

“Did you hear them say anything about the flight plan or destination?” Greg asked. “Anything at all?”

“Not a word. They blew in fast and stayed in the cars for about five minutes. Then they got him in the jet, and took off. The cars left here driving north as you came in from the east. I’ve only seen shit like that twice when the President campaigned here. Who is the guy anyway?”

“Sorry, can’t say.”

The cop nodded in understanding.

There was nothing left to ask. Standard police interview. Standard answers. They simply heard what they already knew but didn’t want to know.

“Okay. Thanks officer.” Greg gave Starsky a hearty pat to the back coaxing him off the car. “Let’s go, Dave.”

Greg stopped short of the driver’s door as he realized Starsky reached for the door handle first. “Uh, Dave, passengers usually ride in the back.”

“Ain’t a passenger anymore. You can ride shotgun. Or walk.”

“What?”

“Keys.”

Greg reluctantly pulled the set of keys attached to two small fuzzy dice out of his coat pocket and handed them to Starsky.

“Thanks, Woodford,” he said sliding behind the wheel. “I miss driving. Hurry up and get in or you’ll have to ask Officer Do-Gooder over there for a ride on the back of his motorcycle.”

 

xXx

 

“Got an hour or so before sunset and,” Greg leaned to his left to check the dashboard, “I’d say about another thirty or so miles on the gas tank.”

Starsky continued to stare ahead and drive mindlessly around Bay City and the neighboring towns. As a businessman stepped off the curb and tried frantically to wave them down for a ride, Starsky rolled down his window and treated him to his dominant hand’s middle finger.

“Dave, if I don’t make some phone calls soon, they’ll be putting out an APB on us both.”

“Let ‘em. But I’m hedging my bet on them thinking we were blown to bits.”

Agent Woodford let Starsky have his moment before thinking out loud in agreement. “IF the explosion was Schrader’s doing, he – or they – probably think you’re dead under the rubble. We have yet to see a tail.”

Starsky continued his forward stare.

“I’m sure they know Hutch is out of the state, and probably the country. Even if they know you’re alive, they most likely think you are just as far away from Bay City at this point. Dave, we need to stop. Let’s at least find somewhere to crash.”

“What… like my apartment?”

“Not your place. We have an agent and his family stay there on the weekends to keep up the charade. Wouldn’t want them to walk in on us in the morning.”

“Huggy’s…”

“First place they’ll look and too public.”

Starsky finally pulled the cab over to the curb. “I just want to go home,” he said down into his lap. His conceded voice was pitched and on the bubble of just not giving a shit anymore.

Neither one spoke as the cab roughly idled. They were no longer wearing the hats, sitting low in their seats or avoiding eye contact with other drivers. It was clear that no one was looking for them, good guys or bad.

“Dave, everyone knows that Ken… Hutch… is long gone. The best place to hide may be…”

“Venice Place,” Starsky finished while jerking the cab back out into traffic and taking a sharp turn at the next intersection. If he couldn’t have Hutch, he’d at least get to sleep in his bed.

“I should be able to pick the locks,” Greg said while holding onto the strap over the window. “Jeez, slow down.”

Starsky pat his coat pocket with his free right hand. “Don’t need to break in if you got the keys.”

Within fifteen minutes they pulled onto the street in front of Hutch’s building. Starsky slowed down as they passed by noting the cars parked out front and the scant weeknight dinner clientele sitting inside Chez Helene’s downstairs.

“Parked cars are vacant,” Greg said, scoping out the scene. “No stationary pedestrians. Just a couple homeless people across the street.”

“That’s not unusual. The locals who eat at Helene’s sometimes give the homeless their doggie bags on their way out. Hutch…” Starsky smiled and chuckled, “…Hutch used to take them his soy milk/flax seed health shakes.” Another laugh. “And then tell them how it would give them more energy and clear up their skin.”

“He’s very quiet about the giving side of him, but I noticed if people do wrong by him,” Greg said as he angled his head down to look up into the apartment windows, “he has a hard time trusting them ever again. Otherwise he tends to only want to see good in people. To a fault.” Sitting straight up again he pointed at the corner. “Looks totally vacant up there. Let’s go around back.”

Parking two blocks away, Greg and Starsky meandered down the street before ducking into the alley behind Chez Helene’s and tip-toeing up the back stairs to the door off Hutch’s sunporch. Before Starsky could walk in after unlocking the door, Greg silently stepped in front of him and gave him the signal to hang back. The agent pulled his gun out of his shoulder holster and disappeared into the apartment. Starsky pictured the path being taken knowing it should take less than a minute to clear the small apartment, but several minutes later Greg had not returned.

The silence was deafening.

Pulling the gun out of the back of his waistband he had commandeered from Greg earlier in the day, Starsky held it pointed up at the ready in case it was needed, and started his own casing from sunporch to kitchen to the doorway into the living room. In the shadows of the sleeping alcove he saw Woodford being restrained by another man. Taking a deep breath, Starsky pivoted into the living room, widened his stance and pointed the gun at the figures. Before he could announce his presence as a police officer, the voices told him exactly what level of danger they were facing.

“…and I thought you were dead.”

“Thought you were on your way to a different continent.”

“Been going crazy. Thank God you’re okay.”

That wasn’t someone restraining Woodford. It was Hutch embracing him. Holding him. Hugging Agent Greg Woodford. Shifting his weight to avoid losing his balance, he knocked against the coat tree rattling it in the process. The silver glint of a gun expertly drawn by Hutch pitted cop against cop, ex-lovers within feet of blowing each other away.

“Starsky? What are you…?”

Woodford turned around in Hutch’s arms when he noticed the blonde’s attention divert away from him. “Ken, Dave… put the guns down.” Neither one moved. “Dave... Come on, man. It’s just us. Me and Ken.”

“Yeah.” Starsky looked at the gun as though surprised at it and lowered it, clicking on the safety and placing it in the small of his back again. “Yeah, you and… you and Ken.”

As Greg relieved him of the gun, Hutch released his hold on the agent and walked over to Starsky, his hands out, a smile blooming. “Starsk, I thought…”

Hutch was within inches of touching his partner when Starsky stepped back in obvious avoidance. “You’re here. Not flying off somewhere. That’s good, Hutch.” He sounded like he was just to the right of patronizing.

“Yeah, they didn’t get us, buddy.”

“I, um…” Starsky looked around the apartment hoping to find the words, but failed. “I should go. Got a cab waiting,” he said thumbing at the back door with a fake smile. “I’ll leave you two alone. I’m sure you have a lot to, um, talk about.”

“Starsky…?”

“No, it’s okay. Really.”

As Hutch tentatively reached out to touch him – the blonde only wanted to put fingertips to skin – Starsky stuffed his hands in his jacket pockets. “Starsk, I thought you were in the middle of that explosion. Lana and Norm haven’t been able to find any information about either of you.”

“Lana… she’s not on the plane? We saw it take off.”

“No. No, she’s still here.” Starsky’s sudden concern for Lana’s whereabouts gave Hutch cause to take a step back himself. “They found an agent who could pass for me. Schrader knew about my flight out. Someone told him, so they made a show of getting me there – or my double, really. Then got it out of here.”

“So they did scuttle it,” Greg said coming from behind the blonde to join the conversation.

Hutch nodded. “Middle of the day, out in the open. Apparently they’re flying it to a secure airbase in Alaska and will taxi it straight into a hanger.”

“So as far as anyone knows, Hutch,” Greg said drawing the clues together, “you’re untouchable and out of play.”

Starsky snorted. “And once again, I’m dead.”

“What can I say,” Hutch gave with a half-smile, “you do dead good.”

“Well, I try my best.”

For the first time in months they genuinely were able to laugh with each other, albeit with head dipped in reluctance to open up to the other and show vulnerability.

“Hutch, where are they?”

“Who?” Hutch replied as though not knowing exactly who his partner was asking about.

“Lana… Lana and Norm.”

For a moment, Hutch considered not telling Starsky wanting to keep him for himself. “Out there,” he said pointing at the front windows they’d been avoiding. “Pretending to be homeless.”

Greg scooted up beside the window and peaked out from behind the edge of the curtain. “I’ll be damned. Drove right past them.”

Hutch pulled Greg away from the window while giving his shoulder a quick squeeze. “I think three people have given them doggie bags so far.”

“No health shakes?” Starsky asked with an ode to days gone by.

“No fresh food in here. Just frozen pizza.”

Now we’re talking.”

And then silence descended as Starsky and Hutch stood inches from each other, not speaking, not touching, but at least not pushing each other away.

“I think I should go.” Greg’s words, although quiet, punctuated the pervasive heaviness that hung in the air. “Keep the lights out.”

“Greg, please,” Hutch said moving away from Starsky. “Why don’t you stay. We can all talk. I can throw a pizza in the…”

“No, Ken. I have to go. You know that. Besides, I gotta catch up with a couple bums across the way.” With an air of finality, Greg practically backed out of the living room as he made his way to the back door. “I’m sure someone will be in touch by daybreak.”

“Greg. Greg.” Hutch took a few long strides to get to the agent who put his hand out as a stop sign. The hand, however, landed squarely on the blonde’s chest, the fingers gently tracing the curves of the form under the shirt. “We have a lot waiting for us back in Minnesota.”

“We do, I know. And I have a lot to wrap up here before I move to Duluth. Or maybe it’s New York. Your choice.”

As if a two-ton weight fell on him, Starsky sat down hard on the sofa.

“Ken, we talked about this,” Woodford said, lowering his voice. “You know what you have to do. And so do I.”

After the back door snapped shut, Hutch walked back into the living room and took up a position to the side of the front window peeking down at the ‘bums’ across the street and waiting a couple minutes until he saw....

“Your guy find the dastardly duo out there yet?” Starsky asked trying his best to sound nonchalant.

“Huh?” Hutch was barely paying attention. “Um, yeah. He’s just walking up on them.”

“Gonna watch them like MasterPrick Theater all night?”

“Oh.” Hutch let go of the curtain and finally sat in the chair adjacent to the sofa. Starsky knew Hutch’s mind was elsewhere. The blonde made no move to deliciously correct his word choice as he usually did.

“Hutch?”

“Hmm.”

“What is it you have to do?”

“You always listen in on other people’s conversations?”

“Really, Hutch?”

“Okay. I promised Greg that before I move back to Minnesota, I’d find out where we stand.”

“Well, from where I sit, regardless of what the guy told me, it looks like the two of you are standing pretty close together. Maybe even permanently together. Am I right?”

“Starsky, as usual you assume too much.”

“What the hell am I supposed to assume, Hutch? Huh?” The volcano of hurt and anger, the lost and unknown, was rising to a crest within Starsky. “You blow into town with Mr. Hot-in the-Pants FBI agent who is all over you, in case you didn’t notice. He fucking stalks you with his eyes and then patronizes me and tells me that you didn’t let him near you. That he wanted you but you weren’t interested. Tell me that’s true.”

Hutch remained dead silent and let his partner go on.

“Tell me, Hutch, cuz that kiss at the federal building, his touching you, how you talk to each other, plans for moving back to Minnesota – together – all say that he was lying to me. Or was that all an act?”

The still form in the chair simply slumped back staring at the ceiling.

“Hutch, before… before the fire in that building, before we were taken away from each other, I thought we were gettin’ close again. It felt like we were gettin’ past everything and everyone that had come between us. Now, three, four months later, it’s as if we were only ever acquaintances. We spent almost a week together in that penthouse and I hardly saw you. You were always in your room. On the phone. In meetings. Always with… with him," he groused pointing blindly at the front window. "You never once asked what happened to me. Never asked what I’d been through after the fire.”

“Seems to me you were well taken care of by Lana.”

“Lana and Norm were my primaries.”

“Lana was your bitch, if I recall correctly. First time I saw her she was all over you, partner.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You chose not to come back to me after a month," Hutch snapped in a low, emotionally bruised voice. "I wondered what was so important that you’d not want to come back to….” He wanted to say me. “…to Bay City. When I saw you and your biker pals in that meeting, the pieces of the puzzle fell right into place.”

“That’s it?" Starsky's eyes seemed to swill into a dark shade of defensive pain. "I choose not to come back here to be kept prisoner in a flea bag hotel safe room and you automatically assume I’m fucking my primary agent? Pot, kettle, black.”

“You have no idea, Starsky…”

NO, I don’t. Because you and your god damned secrets…”

And the shouting on top of each other ensued, each spewing out weeks and months of pent up anger, right angled emotional pain and rage. Neither one was listening. Neither one cared to hear anyone but themselves. Words overlapped each other and meant nothing as the decibel level rose and bounced off the walls.

Until….

Knock, knock, knock….

Both men instantly closed their mouths as they drew guns and took positions on either side of the door. Hutch locked eyes with Starsky and nodded – the signal that step one was going to be taken.

Hutch reached over and flipped the deadlock to the left, in the open position. Pulling his arm back quickly, his back to the wall expecting the door to be opened or kicked in, or worse, they waited.

Knock, knock, knock….

Gun safeties were clicked off, fingers just millimeters from the triggers and sweat dropped from Starsky’s brow as he reached for the doorknob. He nodded with his eyes ever so slightly, something they had done hundreds of times as cops, as he gripped the brass door handle and started to turn it.

Knock, knock, knock…

“Kenneth?”

Hutch let out a deep breath as his hand, heavy with gun, dropped to his side.

“Kenneth, are you in there?”

Starsky, at first, looked puzzled, but after hearing the voice again and taking in Hutch’s cues, he too dropped his gun down. “Mrs. Lewis.”

Hutch opened the door just far enough to talk to his nosey neighbor while Starsky stayed hidden behind it. “Mrs. Lewis. It’s good to see you.”

“You’ve been away a long time, Kenneth. Is everything okay?”

“I’ve been back in Minnesota working at my family’s business.”

“It’s awfully dark in here. Sun’s going down in a bit.”

“Yes, well I’m trying to save on the electric bill.”

“Oh, you’re such a conscientious young man, and a real darling too! Say, I heard a lot of voices. Do you have company?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“A new girlfriend? Oh, well then, I’ll leave you two alone,” she said with a sly wink. “I think I’ll take my hearing aids out and read a good book. So you make all the noise you want.” She sealed that conversation with a giggle and blush before turning and going into her own apartment.

Kenneth?” Starsky asked as he returned his gun to the back of his waistband. “Can I call you Kenneth… darling?”

“Can I call you David?”

“Yeah…. No.”

“Starsky? You and Lana…?”

“…were partners, I guess you could say. Yes, they were protecting me within the biker organization they were embedded in, but in order for me to fit in they had to give me an identity and back story. The only way to make sense out of Lana sharing a room with me was to tell everyone that we were a couple. To make up for the lack of all-out physical public displays of affection, we threw around racy language and made lots of sexual innuendoes. After three months of that it was hard to shake when we got back here. We were under – deep. 24/7. You know how that is.”

“So you never…”

“No, Blintz. Pretty sure her girlfriend would have something to say about that.”

“Girlfriend?”

“Yep. Back in her homeland of Detroit. Hutch, we played the parts well. That’s it. We were so good at, in fact, that…” Starsky stopped to rub his face in the middle of chuckling at the memory. “…there was this one day we were at one of the biker’s houses. His name is Batman, believe it or not. He’s actually one of the leading players of this organization, and pretty scary. So, Lana and I are in his bedroom during this big picnic looking through his stuff trying to find a list of contacts from back east he was supposed to have.”

“You really were working.”

“You think I could have just sat around for three months?”

“Hell no.”

Starsky took a seat back on the sofa, this time with Hutch on the other end. “So, we heard Batman calling our names coming through the house and we didn’t have much time, so we took off our shirts and climbed under the bed covers, ya know. He comes in – Lana’s tits are hanging out, I got my mouth on one of them - and we pretend like he’s interrupting some wild shit. At first he just stares at us and we think he’s gonna go nuts. Then he laughs and tells us to take our time and goes back out into the living room right outside the door. Batman’s holding court out there and we could hear them laughing about what he saw. So we got out of bed and kept looking all while we’re making these noises like the raunchiest porno film ever. Eventually Lana found one of the bed posts was loose and as she’s hitting it to get it to unscrew, I’m banging my fist on the head board to cover her. OH, OH, YES, YES, BABY. And she’s adding to it with BUTCHER, FUCK ME HARDER, HARDER, YESSSS. She copied down the list. Put it back. We put on one last show of cumming – together, mind you - got dressed and left. You should have seen the guys after that. Thought they were gonna give me an Olympic medal.”

“Is that the first…”

“…the first set of tits I’ve touched since us? Yeah. The only ones. And no, it didn’t do anything for me any more than when we had to do stuff like that under cover back in the day.”

“And Lana?”

“Ha! Pretty sure it did as much for her as opening a can of beans.” As they both grinned at that picture, Starsky became serious. “Hutch, I’ve never wanted anyone but you. Since Gunther, I’ve never thought about another guy or gal but you. Ever. I was so excited when we rode into town and got to the federal building knowing that I was gonna see you, when I looked through that window and saw you and Woodford…”

“Yeah, okay. I know. I missed you too,” he said, avoiding the entire Woodford inclusion into their conversation. “ And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.’ Or something like that.” Hutch looked at Starsky and the blank look he had on his face. “Khalil Gibran.”

Again, words were hard to find as they struggled to find their place in the journey they were on to find themselves as friends and partners again. They each held positions at opposite ends of the sofa. They still hadn’t touched. In fact, they had had yet to physically touch since the textile building months before.

“Hutch, Woodford told me that you’d have to tell me about the kiss.”

Hutch stared down at his hands, folded in his lap.

“Was it a bet or something?”

Hutch looked away. Away from Starsky, then back down at his hands.

“Tell me it was a dare, Hutch.” Starsky leaned forward and picked up the gold ID bracelets sitting in a bowl in the middle of the table. “Remember these?” Turning them over he read the inscriptions. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

The end of the sofa lightened as Hutch stood and walked over to the piano, fingering the white keys barely pinging out a C, E then G.

“Secrets, Hutch.”

Those three fingers played the notes together in a C major chord, then, slipping his middle finger up to the E-flat black key it became a morose, dark, C minor chord.

“Hutch…”

“I went to Duluth for the reading of the will,” he started. It was a benign beginning as he spoke in a low monotone barely loud enough to be heard at first. “Surprisingly, Dad never had it changed after he pretty much wiped me out of his life. And my mother never quite understood that she could have contested it. So the gist of it is he left enough money and stock for my mother to be set for life, comfortably. My sister too." He continued to look down at the binary colors of the piano keys. Black. White. Black White. Predictable. No surprises. "But the entire God damned business went to me. Global Hutchinson Enterprises. In a matter of minutes my net worth went from about six hundred dollars to a hundred and eighty-three million dollars and counting.”

“Eighty…. That’s crazy, Hutch.”

Hundred and eighty-three million," he said, correcting Starsky, finally turning on the piano bench to look at him. "I never wanted that. Shit, I never wanted any of that. But I didn’t have anything else. My mother was so lost. It’s like I became my father’s substitute for her, in a way. My sister… Jeez, all Kathleen talked about was how happy everyone was now that I was back. And then everything just steam rolled. The lawyers, accountants, and Greg made the transition so easy.”

“Greg? Woodford was just your primary.”

“Yeah, with a brilliant mind for business, and international experience. It was a great cover. I decided with him at my side, being the brain, I would move forward with it. But I was going to do it my way.”

“How was that?”

“My dad had offices in Minnesota, New York, London, Tokyo and Switzerland. I have no desire to become him, so I decided that in order to keep the jobs for the people that were in them, I’d sell all of the international branches off except for a very minor office in London we're restructuring with European partners. That’s where I’m supposed to be headed right now, closing on that deal.”

“All that money…”

“Don’t much care about it. Even my domestic offices are being pared down.”

“And Greg?”

“He’s leaving the FBI. International corporate finance is what he loves. And he’s damn good at it. He’s packing up and leaving to be my co-CEO.”

“With that money, you could stay here," Starsky said, subconsciously trying to get Hutch to change what sounded like alliances with Woodford. "You... you really wouldn't have to work.”

“Maybe not. But most of the profit is being funneled into a non-profit charitable organization. We opened our first center last week. My mother was at the unveiling.” A smile crept over Hutch’s face as he leaned forward, elbows on knees and spoke to the floor wanting very much to share this with his former lover. “You should have seen her face.”

“Why?”

“It’s the Richard Hutchinson Center for Gay and Lesbian At-Risk Youth.” He looked up at Starsky, waiting for the inevitable Starsky shit eating grin, and appreciated the look of recognition he gave. “We’ll provide education, health care, job training and even housing for those kicked out of their homes. We’re also setting up outreach facilities for sex workers and addicts, straight and gay.”

“I bet it has you all over it, buddy. I’m proud of you for doing that.” He was. He was proud.

“Yeah. Kind of makes the money feel a lot less dirty.”

“So,” Starsky propped his elbow on the arm of the sofa, resting his head on his hand. “I bet your mom was excited about the two of us not being together anymore.”

“Not for long. She assumed that Greg and I were more than just business partners and we kind of let her go with it. Every once in a while, we’d touch each other affectionately, or call each other honey or sweetheart. It became a game of one-upsmanship to see which one of us could outdo the other to get a rise out of her.”

Starsky screwed his face up at that.

“Yeah, I know, but it was kind of fun to feed into her stereotyped opinion. And the fact that Greg is black…. Well, you can imagine how she was spinning it to her country club friends.”

“Ouch.”

Hutch flashed his bright smile at Starsky – something that had been missing for so long. “One day at dinner we had to sit through one of her moments. She was saying nasty things about her maid, Maria and her husband. They’re Mexicans and she was going on about how they aren’t very smart and they’re only good for picking beans and grapes, as if Maria couldn’t understand. She could. She heard every word. Finally, I reached across the table and took Greg’s hand, right in front of my mother, and said to him – Oh, baby, you took way too long to get back to me after your meetings today. I missed you, honey pie.”

“Honey pie?”

“Yeah. He was drinking a big glass of milk." Hutch's stifled laugh snuck out as he recalled the event. "My mother thought the fact that Greg loved milk made him a good boy. That’s the only nice thing she ever said about him. But, anyway, when I said honey pie he choked and the milk shot out of his nose.”

They both laughed heartily, tears almost spilling from Hutch’s eyes as he remembered the rare, amusing event.

“But it was all an act,” Starsky deduced. His voice was quiet, but his eyes dark and serious. “Right?”

And the silence once again descended as Hutch turned back to the piano keys and stared down at them, not at Starsky.

“What aren’t you telling me, Hutch.”

“At first it was. Greg was under a lot of pressure. He was there in his official capacity as my primary FBI agent, but just like you ended up helping your agents under cover, he helped me. In fact, without him I don’t know what I would have done with the business… and my family. I… I didn’t treat Greg very well," he said rubbing the stress from his forehead. “Guilt is a horrible thing to live with.”

“It doesn’t seem like he feels as though he was treated badly by you. What self-loathing shit are you conjuring up in your mind, Hutchinson?”

“He told me on a couple occasions that he had feelings for me. That he’d wait for me knowing my heart was still with you. I never told him no, I just didn’t let him cross the line. Until…" The piano was becoming an old cover so he did what came naturally: stood and walked to the door wanting - needing - to take flight. Instead, he forced himself to maintain a three inch distance from it. "Until... I mean… I didn’t intend to, but I guess I led him on. I, ah… there was a time right after the meeting we had with the feds when I was told that you didn’t want to move back to Bay City and see me again.”

“I never said I didn’t want to see you again.”

“I know. But I guess that’s how I interpreted it. We’d just had the meeting with the higher ups in Minneapolis. I was so down.” Hutch stood stuffed his hands in his pants pockets, head lowered not wanting to look at Starsky, as he walked behind the sofa. “I was still scared shitless about heading this multinational business and screwing things up. I wondered if there was a bomb in our car, or if my family would be targeted. I missed you terribly and just figured out that you were moving on without me. Back in the hotel room I let… I mean, ah… it just happened…”

“What just happened, Hutch?” Starsky scooted forward on the sofa wanting to confront Hutch physically but knowing he had to stay back if Hutch was going to tell him anymore.

“I felt so alone. Tossed aside. My dad died, my mother was playing the heartless dictator. I realized that what I was doing would be permanent. A life plan based on circumstance. And he held me." The words he chose said it was innocent, but his body language was in complete disagreement. "God, I needed that. I needed that touch, the validation, I guess, that someone cared about me. That I wasn’t a horrible person for doing everything to my dad’s company that he never expected of me, mostly out of spite.”

“He held you. That’s not so bad, Blondie. We all need that.”

Hutch walked to the side of the window again, the early golden hues of the setting sun glinting off his hair. He wasn’t looking at anything in particular, just not at Starsky. Still. “I did something that… I thought I lost you, and… You’ll never… Shit, I didn’t think. I was so selfish. Such a bastard.”

“You’re a good person, babe. It’s okay to need that. It was just a hug," Starsky said, trying convince himself more than Hutch. "Nothing to be ashamed of.”

Hutch shoved his hands in his pants pockets again and dipped his head down, that shame his ever faithful friend.

“Look, Hutch, I know better than anyone that you’re a serial cuddler. You try to be Mr. Independent-I-don’t-need-anyone-super-cop. But the truth is, in private, you crave the closeness.”

“But I…”

“It recharges you,” Starsky continued, trying to reassure Hutch. Himself. Trying to fix him. And himself. “I’m sure at that point you needed touch like that just to breath. Don’t let it…”

“I let him blow me." And there it was. "Wouldn’t let him kiss me, but I let him suck my cock. How’s that for being a good person?”

Starsky remained in statue pose – back straight, hands on knees – staring straight ahead, his mouth paused in mid-sentence.

When Hutch didn’t get the punitive response he felt he deserved, he finished it. “He asked me to fuck him, and so help me, I wanted to. We were half naked, on the floor, so close, but I couldn’t. I jacked him off with my hand and then practically fucked his mouth unwillingly. Didn’t even give him a choice. Just held his head down and came, the whole time wishing it was you but knowing it wasn’t and never would be again. After that night I kept my distance. Made everything between us only about work. He only asked me for one thing: a kiss. Told him if we made it home to Bay City in one piece I would give that to him. That’s what you saw. Starsk, I never thought I’d see you again.” There. It was done. With that, he turned and leaned his back into the wall against his hands.

Starsky had yet to make any movement.

“At the penthouse, he and I talked. Greg told me that I needed to figure out where I stood with you, not him. That if you had moved on like I thought, he would join me back in Duluth. Otherwise he would take charge of the business in New York City. We have offices on the 97th floor of one of the World Trade Center buildings with a lifetime lease. By 2001, in twenty years, we’ll be centering the entire international division up in those clouds.”

With his shaking hands anchored to the wall behind his back, Hutch finally picked his hanging head up to look at Starsky who appeared to have no reaction. “All that was when I thought you and Lana were together. That you were going back to Texas and never wanted to be with me again. I even heard you on the phone one night telling her you had a habit of waking her up." Hutch winced at the quick visual he had of Starsky and another woman in bed. "But I think Greg knows, always knew, that you are my heart and soul. No one else.”

Not once, during Hutch’s confession, had Starsky flinched.

“Starsky? Please say something.”

At last, a sign of life as Starsky swallowed hard, his throat rippling top to bottom.

“Starsk. I didn’t know that… I’m sorry. I am so sorry. We hadn’t been together in months. I never…”

“I was on the phone with my mother that night. My mother, Hutch. Not Lana.”

“Starsky, I’m sorry. Greg was there and you weren’t. I never…”

Don’t,” Starsky finally said getting to his feet. “Just… don’t.” Without so much as stealing a glance at Hutch, with clenched fists at his sides, Starsky turned and walked out through the kitchen, through the sun porch and out the back door, the only sound coming from the door clip-clipping shut.

Exactly how he knew it would play out, Hutch thought as he stalked through the darkening apartment to the kitchen. He took a glass out of the dish rack and filled it with water from the faucet. Taking a few good gulps, he found himself staring through the glass at the swirling floor tiles. He and Greg had been on the floor. He’d never taken Starsky on the floor – thought it too undignified for their love.

The glass shattered gloriously against the far wall and was joined by every single glass and mug Hutch could find. And when he ran out of glasses, he kicked the trash can and started in on the plates. It didn’t take long, he only had four.

“You forgot one.”

Hutch turned around in his rage and came face to face with Starsky holding up a butter dish. “Come back to hear more graphic details? Cuz, I got nothing else for you, partner. Gave you the full dirty story.”

“Heard the crashing from down there,” Starsky calmly said pointing out the window at the alley below. “Wanted to make sure you were alright.”

“Well, I am. So you can leave.”

“How long you gonna feel sorry for yourself, Hutch?”

The patient, calm tone countering Hutch's blonde rage was too much for him as the blonde spun around and pushed Starsky back through the sunporch to the back door with two double handed shoves. “I’m not who you thought I was. Get out, Starsky.” That was the first touch. Their first touch since the fire. “I'll only cause you pain. Get out.”

“You think you own all rights to self-pity? Huh? Gonna push me away so you can wallow in all this fucking bullshit you created?”

Hutch walked away, leaving Starsky at the door. “Lock the door after you leave. I’ve got packing to do.”

“Yes, you almost died.” Starsky’s deep voice he usually reserved for serious interrogation stopped Hutch in his tracks. “Yes, you had to fight like hell to get everything back you lost. But you aren’t the only damaged one here, pal. Do you know how many times I was told I raped you, Hutch? Huh? Over and over again. First they asked me. Did you rape Ken Hutchinson? Then they just told me I did. And I had nothing to back me up. Nothing. The medical records even proved it. You, torn up. You bleeding. Your blood on my dick and my cum inside you. Even I started to believe it. I’ve been asking myself why I did that to you. Why did I…” Starsky swallowed a sob before it could escape. “…why did I rape you?”

Hutch shook his head not able to get those reassuring words out Starsky needed to hear.

“So, you don’t get to do this and be the sole victim here.” Catching up to Hutch in the kitchen, Starsky grabbed him by the collar and pulled him around nearly toppling both of them to the floor. “I left Bay City – no… I was taken from Bay City by force… thinking that we would be there for each other when this all wrapped up. I had faith in you. I trusted you. At no time did I think that you felt otherwise, until I got back. I knew something happened but chalked it up to your cold, hard-ass family. Even after I saw that kiss, even after I heard the two of you together like you’d known each other forever, even after I saw how Woodford looks at you, I still had faith in you and thought after the trials and whatever you were doing back home wound down, we’d find each other again because it was meant to be and our love was like no other. But now…”

He looked at Hutch’s face, finally, and saw eyes closed, forehead pinched and breathing labored. Hutch’s way of running away, still. Eventually, as he let go of the shirt, Hutch’s shoulders relaxed and one lone tear rolled down his cheek.

It would have been so tempting to walk out the door and find his way back to Texas and the last place he felt he belonged. Instead, he paced circles through the apartment eventually landing back in the darkening living room, leaning against the back of the sofa. “I don’t know what to say, Hutch. I don’t know what to do for you. Fuck, I don’t know what to do for me.”

“You don’t owe me anything.” The voice was so quiet it was almost not heard.

“Is that what this has come down to? You and me? It used to always be us.”

“I’m sorry for everything, Starsky. I'm.... SO sorry.”

“Everything? You sorry for loving me?”

“I didn’t come out and defend you right away…”

“…you couldn’t even talk at that time.”

“My parents accused you of horrible things…”

“…goaded on by Schrader and Simonetti.”

“I wasn’t there for you when... when y-y-you needed me most…”

“…because we were kept apart.”

“And I cheated on you. Oh, God," he gasped covering his mouth in realization, "...I cheated on you.”

“No you didn’t, Hutch. You believed I was out of your life. What you did wasn’t cheating." Starsky reached out to cup Hutch's face but stopped short, not sure of his hand's welcome. "It was survival. Babe, we were each other’s firsts. It hurts me to think of you being loved by another man, yeah. But I can’t say I blame you, I guess. I should have come home.”

Self blame: an equal opportunity coping mechanism.

Hutch simply turned and pressed his forehead against his hands on the front door. The only thing keeping him from walking, or running out that door to avoid finishing what they had started was the weight of a man leaning against him, chest to back, arms wrapped around his middle.

“I will do anything to keep you in my life, Hutch. Anything. Just… just… don’t leave me.” If Hutch wanted to avoid him by planting his face on the door, then so be it. Starsky nuzzled his face into Hutch’s back just below the neck letting the curled up blonde hair tips barely tickle his forehead when he rubbed it back and forth. “Please, can’t we try?”

“No.”

“But I promise I’ll…”

“No, Starsk.” Hutch finally turned around and resumed his withdrawn pose against the door – hands pressed behind back, head drawn down. “I… I…”

“Hutch, babe, why won’t you touch me? Just reach out... I mean… Hutch? What are you afraid of, hmmm? Are you afraid of loving me?”

The blonde closed his eyes and tilted his head ever so slightly to the right.

“Or… or are you afraid of me?”

“Not afraid of you. Not afraid of loving you.”

“Then what is it?”

“I guess…” Hutch finally drew his arm out from behind him and reach forward, but coiled it back just shy of touching Starsky. “I guess I’m scared of losing you. I can’t do this again.”

“Hutch, we can do this on your terms. I’ll move to Minnesota with you if you want. Or, if you want a long distance relationship, I’ll stay here on the force or hook back up with the FBI. You can see me when you feel like it on your terms, as little or as much as you want. Babe, I will take whatever I can get from you, even if it's just once in a while.”

“No.”

Hutch reached out again, but this time he let his fingertips reach Starsky’s shirt. The touch was magnetically charged at first giving Hutch a startle. Then, almost like he had no choice, he felt his hand thrust out to Starsky.

“No? Hutch, you saying this is the end?”

Grasping Starsky’s shirt with both hands, Hutch pulled him into a fierce hug.

“No, Starsk. I don't want once in a while. I want it all. I want all of you. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. No more interferences. No more lies. No… secrets.”

A strong hand grasped Hutch’s arm as Starsky pulled him over to the bed. “I know just what you need, blondie.”

“Starsk, let’s not rush things.”

“Who says I’m rushing?”

“And… I've only been in this bed once since, ya know, that night. And, shit… my parents slept in it…”

“Then it’s time we take it back. Right? Come on. What you need is a good cuddle.”

Hutch gave one soft laugh as he let Starsky push him onto his back. “How very chick of you.”

“Nothing wrong with dialing into my feminine side.”

With shoes off, but fully clothed, Starsky pulled Hutch onto his side letting him snuggle onto his right shoulder. Throwing his left leg over the longer ones secured the two together.

They settled into each other, sighing a few times before shifting around and changing places. Starsky’s face fit like a perfect puzzle piece in the curve of Hutch’s neck where he placed a series of soft, tender kisses, tasting the essence of his lover, wanting more, needing more.

“Hey, Hutch, back before… ya know, all this happened, I hated when we had to be apart. Like when I had to go back to New York when my mom had her stroke. Or that one time you spent a week in Sacramento for the crime scene workshop. One day I was watching TV and feeling sorry for myself because I had the whole weekend off and you weren’t here. A wise soul said, ‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?’ And I stopped feeling sorry for myself and just considered myself lucky to have you. I never felt like that about anyone before.”

“Who said that? Shakespeare?”

“Winnie the Poop.”

“It’s Pooh, mushbrain.”

“Not in Brooklyn it ain’t.”

Starsky lightly traced his fingertips over Hutch's shirt, counting the ribs he knew one by one, going lower and lower until his hand rested just above the belt.

“Hutch, I saw a handwritten list of stuff you were supposed to do when we got to the penthouse. Someone left it on a table.” Starsky slyly lifted the waistband of Hutch’s pants and tried to peek down towards his center. “Did that assh… Did Greg give you a rash?”

No” Hutch abruptly swatted Starsky’s hand away. “A new houseplant at my mom’s did. And it was on my arm.”

“And, um, did he just gave you that fancy watch? I suppose he had it engraved too with something mushy.”

“Yeah, it’s engraved, dummy,” Hutch said taking the gold watch off his wrist and turning it over for Starsky to read.

To Ken with love, Mom… Oh…. Well, yeah. That was… nice… of her.”

As Starsky released three more buttons of Hutch’s dress shirt, he followed the shirt’s opening with his lips and tongue from smooth neck down to the scar left behind from the tracheotomy. It was now nothing more than a silver/white line with slightly puckered edges. He was familiar with scars like these, his own still visible on his chest.

“How’s your excavating pectin?”

Hutch smiled and tried to contain a laugh knowing just where Starsky’s inquiries were going. “Pectus Excavatum.

“Yeah, Einstein. Your valley. Can I see?” With a kiss and nibble of the scar, he shifted just slightly to the right in the neighborhood of neck-meets-shoulder and nursed on the tender, salty tasting skin.

Hutch stared up at the ceiling, one hand on the fop of curls, the other gently stroking the large shoulder just beyond. Did he want to open that door? So soon after coming together again? Instead of giving verbal permission, Hutch pushed Starsky off of him and sat up. First the shirt came off, then the white cotton undershirt. Without pausing, even a second, he turned to his side and took Starsky’s head and upper back in his hands and pushed him onto his back while seeking entrance to the familiar mouth with his own.

The joining was hard and rushed, each impulsively needing to make up for lost time and greedily taking what was freely given. While nibbling and sucking the skin flavored with Hutch-saltiness leaving small purple and red marks, Starsky reached down and expertly unbuttoned and drew down the zipper on Hutch’s slacks. His hand immediately found the growing cock and grasped it earning a groan from his lover.

“Starsky… Starsk,” Hutch said when coming up for air. “Make love to me. Please.” His eyes bore down on his lover. Blue on blue. Serious. And oh so needy.

“Not tonight.”

“Please, Starsky. Babe, I need to feel you in me.”

This time it was Starsky who pushed Hutch away as he sat up in bed adjusting his slacks to accommodate his own growing erection.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Blondie. Please. Last time I… there was damage, and…”

“No, Starsk. You made love to me. I asked you to take me hard. I wanted that.”

“Even the hospital report said…”

“Said what? That you raped me?” Starsky’s silence told Hutch that the ‘R’ word was very much driving Starsky’s guilt. “The medical reports only prove that we got carried away. You made love to me. You came inside of me just like I needed. Just like I need now.”

“I… I can’t. Not yet. Okay? Please.”

Hutch nodded his submission. Disappointed but nonetheless willing to make love to Starsky.

“I love you, you big blonde blintze. Please, can’t you just do me, like we always did?”

Do me? You sound like jail bait.”

“Yeah, well this jail bait wants you to do me.”

Starsky pulled his lover off of the bed and deftly stripped him of the remainder of his clothes while gradually getting himself naked as well. They stood chest to chest, hard-on to hard-on, the sensual heat pulling them together.

Starsky put his hand on Hutch’s chest over the heart and closed his eyes feeling the thrum of heartbeat before letting his fingertips travel over the satiny smooth skin. “You lost weight.”

“You gained muscle.” Hutch returned the loving touches as he let his own hands trail over the newly acquired hard muscles on Starsky’s chest, shoulders and arms. “A lot of muscle, Gordo.”

“Just trying to look pretty for you, sweet cheeks,” he said giving Hutch’s ass a playful swat. “I can tell you’ve been away from California. You’re real, um, white, buddy.” The love marks he’d made with his mouth on the pale skin stood out on Hutch’s neck and chest. It would take several days under a concealing shirt for those to resolve.

“Been living in Minnesota. In November. It’s winter.” His hands drifted down to Starsky’s chiseled abs and the deep tan line at his waist. “And you’re real tan.”

“Been in Texas. It’s hell.”

Reaching into the nightstand, Starsky took out a tube of lube. For a brief moment, Hutch thought that maybe Starsky had changed his mind, but when the brunette got on his knees and stroked the hardened cock from root to tip with his warm tongue, it was apparent that this was going to go Starsky’s way.

The lube, Hutch quickly figured out, was not going to be wasted. Starsky applied a liberal dose to his fingers and as his mouth worked on the cock, the fingers of his left hand worked their own magic on Hutch’s back side. He slipped in one finger, then two pumping and stretching the sensitive nerve endings as he gloriously took Hutch’s cock in his mouth. He took as much of the large organ as he could, almost deep throating the whole thing before he gagged ever so slightly. His right hand pumped the shaft just below his lips as Starsky took turns creating numbing suction at the head, teasing the crown with the tongue and gently nibbling the ultra-sensitive head and crease of the underside with his teeth just short of pain.

“Oh my God, Starsky…. Shit….” Hutch threw his head back as a third finger was added to the digits that, every once in a while, grazed over his prostate giving him an erotic jolt, his cock tapping the roof of Starsky’s mouth. Finally, Starsky’s right hand traveled from the shaft to the heavy ball sac gradually drawing up in ecstasy towards his body and tugged it forward. “Stop. STOP. Fuck…” Hutch stepped back out of breath as though he’d just run a mile in the rain. “Slow down, cowboy.”

He had been so concentrated on engorging himself on the large silken cock that Starsky didn’t pay attention to the strand of saliva pouring out of his mouth as Hutch pulled out. Hutch groaned at the site of his lover sitting back on his knees, red faced, breathing hard, drool stringing down to the floor while blue slaked eyes silently sought out Hutch’s approval.

“Stand up, Starsk.”

Neither one had knees strong enough to walk with grace but it was Hutch who stepped forward and grabbed Starsky by the upper arm helping him to become vertical. “I don’t know if I could ever convey to you how much you mean to me,” he said gently stroking the side of Starsky’s face from hairline to chin. “Saying I love you feels so insufficient.”

“Stop with the big words and make love to me.” Starsky pulled the blonde’s face into his putting lips to lips, pushing his tongue in and tasting the essence of Hutch. “Translated, that means fuck me.”

The smile on Hutch’s face put a stop to the kissing as he took Starsky by the shoulders and turned him to face the side of the bed. “Bend over and assume the position.”

Starsky spread his legs and bent over as ordered, putting his weight on his elbows.

“Put your knee up,” Hutch said lifting Starsky’s right knee to the mattress. His weight now rested on one leg with his ass cheeks spread wide. Getting on his knees on the floor, he reached between Starsky’s legs from behind and pulled his cock and balls straight back eliciting a fantastic groan from the cock owner. He’d only done this twice, each time finding that Starsky enjoyed the dichotomy of pleasure and pain it caused almost to the point of unstimulated ejaculation. Finding the lube, he gave Starsky his own version of the three finger salute to get him ready for the intrusion while vigorously stroking his pulled down cock.

Starsky finally couldn’t hold his weight on his trembling elbows and flattened his chest against the bed covers, his arms out in front of him grasping at the quilt as Hutch’s larger body bore down on him, hand on ass, and entered him. As the head of his cock popped through the ring of muscle he stopped to let Starsky adjust and relax. “So tight.”

“Been a while.”

When Starsky gave the tell-tale sign that he was ready for more by exhaling deeply and pushing back, Hutch finally inched forward until he was all the way inside.

“Huuuuutch… yes… YES.”

After a few gentle strokes in and out, Hutch finally let loose and pumped his large and long cock into his lover over and over, nailing him to the mattress. Pulling out completely he took a moment to spread the cheeks and admire the gaping hole he’d created. “Beautiful, baby.” If Starsky so much as tried to raise his ass or back up, Hutch was right there with his big hands pushing him back down keeping the angle just right for the increasing speed, until….

“Back on the bed, partner.”

Starsky gladly relieved his hips and leg of the job as anchor and slithered up to the pillows on his back.

“Want to see your face, Starsky. Knees up. And no cumming. Not yet.”

Pushing Starsky’s knees up, Hutch moved on top of him and entered him again, this time in one long, swift stroke. Pumping in and out with ferocity, he twice had to slap Starky’s hands away from his own rock hard cock, weeping with pre-cum. “Not yet, babe. Me first. Just… Just…” He couldn’t find the words as his world fogged over in pure bliss. Finally, he pulled out and pushed Starsky’s knees back down. Squatting over his lover’s hips, he stroked himself with greed.

“Hutch, babe… cum inside me. Babe?”

“Shhhh. Just watch. Watch me cum.”

As Hutch sat over him, head thrown back, grunting in the throes of cumming, Starsky desperately wanted to touch himself but was thwarted by the weight on his hips. Finally, Hutch looked down at his huge cock, his right hand stroking it fast and hard, and put his left hand under the crown catching the load of cum that pumped out amid grunts and groans.

“Hutch?”

“Shhhh.”

He stayed above Starsky catching his breath before eventually reaching behind him and coating Starsky’s cock with the handful of cum he had collected.

“Hutch?”

“Shhhh.”

"Hutch... what are you...?"

"Trust me, babe," Hutch whispered while drawing Starsky in with his bright blue eyes. "Do you trust me?" The 'T' word. After all the time - the months spent doubting each other and forced apart - he needed validation. Trust. "Do you?"

Starsky didn't hesitate to nod. "Always."

Hutch raised up on his knees just enough to aim Starsky’s cock at his own hole still generously slick from previous play, holding it behind him, and sat back on it, slowly impaling himself. "My cum, on your cock, in me," he grimaced as the large organ passed through the tight ring of muscle.

“Oh God, Hutch. Don’t… I mean…”

“Shhhh.” The look on his face was firm, yet excited, the crimson color slowly shading his pale palor.

“Deep breath, blintze,” Starsky gently reminded him with a hand to the sweat slicked chest. “Breathe.”

With time to relax, Hutch finally sat back and felt the complete fullness of his lover deep inside him. “So good,” he gave Starsky, needing to let him know that this was more than okay.

“But, you…”

“Shhhh.” A wide grin and deep sense of fulfillment spread across Hutch’s face as he put his fingers on Starsky’s mouth to silence him. “Hush.” Finally, he fell forward gathering Starsky in his arms, kissing his lips, his cheeks, his neck… anywhere he could find available surface area. In return, Starsky raised his hips in rhythm searching out the warmth. “Do me,” Hutch whispered into his ear, serious with a generous helping of snarkiness.

In one swift move, Starsky flipped them over, pulled out, and pushed Hutch over onto his stomach. Not wanting there to be vacancy for too long, he inserted three of his fingers while directing the blond. “Knees up, but stay down like a frog, babe. Yeah, like that. Knees out to the side. Belly down.” Adding more lube to both of them, Starsky spread the cheeks wide and plunged in deep. He started slowly, then built up speed. “You take it so good, babe.” He leaned over and held Hutch around the neck kissing the side of his head, whispering encouraging words of lustful passion into his ear. “You’re perfect, babe. Feels so perfect. So fucking good. Doing so good.” Sweat dripped down through the blonde tendrils eventually making its way to Starsky who happily lapped it up.

Starsky always did like it more on the rough side. Hutch may have usually performed as the soft, gentle lover, but Starsky knew his lover had his moments when he wanted Starsky to take control in a very masculine, very dominant manner. This was one of those nights as he pounded Hutch as the blonde was pasted to the mattress, arms out to the side, face to the side, leg muscles stretched to the limit with his knees frogged out. Every now and then Starsky stopped to check… check and make sure he wasn’t hurting him. At last, he stilled and with a deep throated howl, stabbed Hutch with his hard cock to the core several times as he filled his lover with cum.

Pushing himself back up to his knees, Starsky’s hands gripped Hutch’s ass cheek for balance as much as for a sense of sensual ownership. He pulled out and looked at the tip of his ultra-hardened cock as it spurt forth one final dribble of cum around the rim of Hutch’s gaping anus. Starsky took the opportunity to get a few final strokes in before he softened, enjoying the sensations the insides of Hutch’s ass gave his super sensitive cock head.

Flopping onto his back next to Hutch with a hand still on the blonde’s ass, Starsky shuddered. “You okay, babe?”

“More than okay.” Hutch turned onto his side and picked up Starsky’s cock. “You’re still kind of hard.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever cum so good before.”

Hutch used his hand to aggressively rub the sensitive glans while watching Starsky screw his face up.

“Fuck, NO HUTCH. Holy shit. Jesus... sensitive!”

He couldn’t keep it up any longer and stopped, laying the softening organ to the side. “Pay back’s a bitch, pal.”

“Sorry I ever introduced you to that little torture,” Starsky said turning to pull Hutch into a big hug. “Love you, babe.”

“Love you too. You’re pretty mushy tonight. Are we getting back to normal, Starsk?”

“Twenty-eight miles an hour.”

“Huh?”

“Twenty-eight miles an hour. That’s the average speed of male ejaculate.”

Hutch moved his head back to look into his lover's eyes. "What the hell? You and your useless facts. Probably not something you want to share with Dobey."

"Yeah, well, might be too late..."

That did it for Hutch. He laughed out loud as he squeezed Starsky’s head into his chest. “Good to see you haven’t lost it, partner.”

“Know what else I haven’t lost?” Starsky asked propping himself over the blonde. “This.” Both hands reached out and attacked Hutch’s vulnerable area: his nipples. Giving them tweaks and twists, Hutch kicked out and laughed.

“Stop. Tickles. Starsk.”

It continued as Starsky straddled him, bare ass in the air, and used his new muscles to hold his lover down. “Not done with you yet.”

In an instant their private, lust filled world turned upside down as the lights were turned on in the apartment. Grabbing for their guns on the nightstands barely able to focus in the sudden explosion of light overhead, they each turned and aimed their firearms at the entrance to the sleeping alcove.

“Whoa Nelly.” The voice was low, gruff and…. Familiar. “Don’t shoot the messengers.”

Starsky closed one eye and squinted the other in the flash of sudden bright light. “Norm?”

Both lovers were stark naked, Hutch sitting up straight and Starsky up on his knees, each airing their very nude, very oblivious, post-sex slick bodies including their well hung, well used, heavy cocks.

“Wow, Hutch, who knew you bruised so easily.” Lana tilted her head to the side taking in the sight before her. "Nice tushie."

“Lana, um…. What…?”

“Hutch?” Starsk put his gun down while pushing Hutch’s own gun filled hand down away from the intended targets. “We should, um...”

“Got the good news from Captain Dobey himself,” came a third voice coming up the stairs towards the door. “So I got my too-good-looking self over to this here abode to see for myself.”

Joining the FBI pair in the apartment was Huggy himself. “Oh. Shit. Should I have called first?”

“Starsky,” Hutch mumbled trying not to look too embarrassed. “Robe? Or towel? We gotta....”

They had only just started to reach to the side looking for something to cover themselves when…

“So excited to get my trashy boys back at the station. The news is all over. Hope you’re hungry. I brought….” Minnie Kaplan bowled in through the door, arm up in the air holding something when she stopped in her tracks at the sight in front of her, “…a pie. I... um... brought a... yeah, a pie. I have a pie here, I'll, ah, take in the kitchen just over here,” she said as she walked past the sleeping alcove, her head obviously turned away from the show.

Starsky and Hutch scrambled from the bed rushing their naked bodies, finally running into each other as they both reached for the same blanket. With their arms practically wrapped around each other…

“Such noise over here. Are you having a party, Kenneth? Oh…. OH MY.”

“M-M-Mrs. Lewis,” Hutch stuttered, “I, ah… we… and…”

The little old lady winked at the guys and turned to leave. “Always knew brunettes made you happy, Kenneth. Carry on. I’m going back to bed. By myself, unfortunately. Goodnight, boys.”

“Just wanted to let you know,” Lana said barely able to contain herself, “that Schrader squealed to a jail snitch. The last three perps from the Mexican Cartel on the most wanted list we were looking for were responsible for the bombing, and a corrections officer was getting paid to pass off information to him.”

“Two of the Mexicans were apprehended at the border,” Norm reported looking at everything in the apartment but the two lovers, “the third was a victim of his own design. His body – or at least what was left of it -was just found in the rubble. The CO turned himself in.”

“Well,” Hutch lamented wrapping a sheet around him, “the gang’s all here. Everyone except Greg.”

“Woodford left the agency," Lana told them. "Handed in his resignation - effective immediately. Said he was moving to New York.”

With that news, Starsky reached behind Hutch and gently stroked the skin just above the sheet tied at the waist. Even Woodford knew these two were meant only for each other.

“Well, boys,” Minnie said making a beeline for the door, “I left the pie in the kitchen. I should get going.”

“Minnie?” Starsky stepped forward as if needing to say something, but stopped short.

Minnie read his mind. “Your secret is safe with me, sweetie” she said reassuringly. “Don’t worry. Really.”

“Doesn’t have to be a secret among friends,” Hutch added from behind Starsky. “Does it, Minnie?”

“Not at all, Hutch. I got your backs, babies.”

With that, the parade of exiting bodies began with Norm and then Lana.

“Will tell the gang Butcher got sent up the river for five to ten.”

“Don’t be a stranger, you two hotties.”

Their friend was the last to exit the building. “See you guys at the Pits. And mind Huggy Bear: use rubbers. We don’t need no babies runnin’ around.”

And as quickly as it started, it ended, the apartment awash in silence.

Starsky dropped down on the bed. “I think we just got outed.”

“Uh huh.”

“You okay with that?”

Instead of getting an answer in words, Starsky heard a guttural, low rumble come from his partner.

“Babe? You okay?”

Finally, Hutch let it out as he threw his head back and laughed out loud. “The only thing that would have made it better is if my mother and Dobey had walked through that door.”

“That would have been epic.” Starsky shirked the blanket and climbed back in the bed next to Hutch. “So, where do we go from here, babe?”

“Shower. Definitely a shower. Then… I don’t know. I have at least another month of 120-hour work weeks to finalize the business here and abroad as well as find a director for the center. What do you want to do?”

“I want go back on the force. Homicide with Dobey. But not without you. You’re my priority, Hutch. Nothing else.”

Hutch took him in his arms and nuzzled the mop of hair. “I’m thinking about coming back here. Even partnering up with you again, Bozo. I think I can do that if I can fly back to Minnesota or New York one weekend a month.”

“And us?”

“Just what we got here. Me and thee. No one else.”

“Hutch?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m hungry. Want some pie?”

“As long as you don’t have to leave here to get it, babe. As long as we stick together.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The End…….. for now

 

 

 

(Final Homework: “Lover Come Back to Me”, City and Colour)

 

A/N: Thank you to all who have kept up with this monstrosity of a fanfic. What started out as a ten-chapter project ten months ago became this uber long novel journey. While it was fun to write, life needs attending to.    ~SD