(c) October 2016 by Charlotte Frost


A sequel to Milestones



The all-too familiar, unwanted smells permeated Hutch’s sinuses as he rose toward consciousness. He wondered if he was dreaming, for the various odors couldn’t possibly be his current reality.

He refused to open his eyes. Instead, he listened to the noises in the background, confirming what he didn’t want to know.

Dear God… not again.

He mentally traced back, trying to find the reason he was here.

Shot. No, that had happened a long time ago. More than once, but a long time ago.

Concussion. He’d had more of those than he cared to think about. His head didn’t hurt. That was encouraging.

Stabbed. He remembered an enraged face. In the darkness. Holding a knife. Diana Harmon. His heart beat faster. He’d been stabbed in the back of his arm. He couldn’t feel any soreness in his arm. That made him think… Surgery. He’s had surgery recently. On his shoulder. Nothing to do with being stabbed. But that was over. He’d recovered to the point of no longer needing his sling. His physical therapy sessions were going well, and he had nearly the full range of his shoulder’s movement, when he practiced exercises at home.

That left… Sick.

Faces came into view. Dr. Judith Kaufman. Starsky’s mask-covered face, so consumed with worry. Hutch desperately wanting his partner’s warmth, but knowing that Starsky’s nearness met certain death, because it was more important to find Callendar. Make a serum from his blood.

Hutch mentally traced the muscles in his body. He felt weak. Unnaturally so. Yet, not the horrible too hot/too cold that had marked the time when he’d been on the edge of death.

Am I on the edge of death?

Hutch let his eyes drift open. A bulb flickered off and on in the hallway beyond the door, which was otherwise well-lit.

He shifted his gaze. Starsky sat in a chair beside the bed, his body turned slightly away, toward the television that had the sound lowered, and flipped over a page of the magazine in his hand.

Not on the verge of death. Starsky was too relaxed for Hutch to be in a serious state.

Hutch drew a deep breath, and was aware of a shallow sensation in his lungs.

Starsky turned to look at him, and it was then that Hutch noticed the tiredness around his eyes. Still, the voice that spoke was cheerful. “You’re awake.”

“What am I doing here?”

Starsky’s brow furrowed. “You don’t remember?”

Hutch muttered, “Too many times to remember.”

Starsky’s mouth cornered twitched. Then, in the gentle voice that Hutch always found so reassuring, “You’re going to be okay, buddy boy.”

“What happened?”

“You got that flu that’s been going around. Came on like gangbusters. Remember? We met with the real estate office? We were leaving, and you said you were gonna be sick and then you fell to your knees, in the parking lot?”

Hutch vaguely remembered that.

“Rushed you to the hospital. You were pretty out of it. Vomiting and the runs, big-time. They started pumping fluids into you. Your vitals stabilized after a few hours, and you were out of the woods.” Starsky nodded at tubes near the bed. “They just wanted to make sure you had plenty of fluids. Maybe you won’t have to stay another night.”

Hutch took stock of his inner self. “I feel really weak, but otherwise, not that bad.”

“They’re calling it a twenty-four flu. Maybe it just hit you extra hard, because of all the stress from everything going on.”

Yes, stress. Happy stress, in a lot of ways, but still stress. They were hoping to close on their new building in early February, less than two months away. There had been new employees to break in. And then, always, the concern in the back of his mind if they were really going to be able to handle all the debt….

“Hey,” came a cheerful greeting.

Hutch’s eyes darted to the doorway, to see Nick and Lorraine enter.

“He just woke up,” Starsky said. “Maybe, once they check him out, they’ll let him recover at home.”

“Thank goodness you’re doing better,” Lorraine said.

Starsky stood, and indicated his chair. “Have a seat and keep Blondie company.” He flexed his arms and back. “I think I’ll head down to the cafeteria. Want anything?”

“We just ate,” Nick said.

As Starsky left, Hutch wondered how long his partner had been sitting at his bedside.

Lorraine took the chair Starsky had vacated, while Nick leaned against the railing at the end of the bed.

“Man,” Nick said, “he was really worried about you, Hutch. I think you scared the heck out of him.”

Lorraine put in, “He said you’d fainted in a parking lot.”

“Guess so,” Hutch relented. “I feel a lot better now. Just weak.”

Nick nodded. “That flu’s been going around a lot. Thankfully, I got a shot at my last doctor’s appointment, so I shouldn’t be carrying it home.”

“I got a shot, too,” Lorraine added, “when the news first started talking about it.” She looked at Hutch. “Obviously, you didn’t.”

He noted, “We’ve been way too busy to think about stuff like that.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing the new building, when you’ve closed on it.”

“It seems to be exactly what we need. It’s just taking all the financial stuff forever, to get all the approvals and such. The firm that’s doing the lending has one of their owners overseas for a few weeks, so that’s held things up a bit.”

“That’ll be nice, though,” Nick put in, “to be the owners of your very own building.” He shifted. “Hey, uh, do you still think you’ll feel well enough next Friday to have Lan’s birthday party at your house, like we planned?”

“That’s…,” Hutch thought, “a week from today?”

“Today’s Friday,” Lorraine said.

“Sure,” Hutch said. “We’ll have a steak dinner. Birthday cake. Oh, and, we got the video tape in the mail, from our TV show appearance. So, we can all watch that.”

“Oh, good,” Lorraine said. “I missed it that night, because my TV wasn’t working, and I couldn’t disturb Clark or any other neighbors that late.”

“It’ll be good to see it again,” Nick put in. “I couldn’t get the new VCR to work, so we weren’t able to record it.”


 A few hours later, Hutch felt relieved to settle back against the pillows in his own bed.

“All right,” Starsky chattered, while parking a hip on the edge of the bed. “Follow doc’s orders and just rest this weekend. I’m at your beck and call.”

Hutch carefully slid more to the center of the bed, and reached to drape his arm across Starsky’s shoulders. “Come ‘ere.” It seemed his arm had little strength, so it was all the more gratifying when Starsky collapsed next to him, on the mattress.

Hutch circled the arm around him, grateful that Starsky’s head was resting on his bare shoulder. In a near whisper, Hutch said, “Sorry if I scared you.”

Starsky drew a breath. “Well, it was apparent within an hour or so that you were gonna make it. It’s just the way it came on so suddenly, the way you collapsed, that was scary. Seemed like all your insides were coming out of both ends, big time.”

Hutch muttered, “I could do without that image.”

Starsky snorted.

Hutch rested his head against Starsky’s. “Seems like I’ve been in the hospital almost as many times since we retired, as when we were cops.”

“Well, I suppose that’s part of what happens when you live an active life. At least, it’s always been stuff that heals, and gets better.”

“Maybe, once I’m past all this, we’ll be able to get properly reacquainted.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Starsky pleaded. “We’ve both had a lot on our minds, in addition to your surgery and stuff. Sometimes, it seems like other things are more important, huh?”

There had been some minor activity — manual and oral -- but between Hutch not having full use of his shoulder for a few months, and the associated drugs in the beginning, their sexual activities had felt limited. When that excuse had faded, then there was all the mental headaches of their growing business and trying to purchase the building.

Hutch replied, “I’d like, every once in a while, at least, for that to be the most important thing again.” He shifted to glance at Starsky. “You don’t miss it?”

Starsky wrapped an arm around Hutch’s waist, beneath the covers. “I make a point of not thinking about it, when I know it’s not going to be happening, anyway.” Then, “Don’t add that to the list of things you’re feeling all stressed about. I’ve no doubt we’ll be perfectly capable of making up for our abstinence, when the time comes.”

Hutch grunted agreeably.

“Hey, we’ll want to make sure we don’t get hung over or anything from Lanette’s birthday party Friday night. Because, remember, Saturday is when the training farm is having their Owner Appreciation Day. So, we’ll want to go see Danny and be a part of that. When I called the guy to say we were coming, he said that there will be a little tour bus of a half dozen new people who are thinking of buying racehorses, so they might have questions and stuff for the others of us who are experienced owners.”

“Experienced with our one horse?”

Starsky shrugged. “I bet Darla was a better horse than any that the other owners have ever had.”

“We don’t know that,” Hutch automatically countered.

“Well, it should be fun. Hope you’re all better by then, so we can enjoy the day.”

“I will be,” Hutch was eager to assure. “It’s not like I want to be cooped up here for much longer.”

“Yeah. But I want you to rest. I’ll bring you food and stuff, at least until sometime tomorrow, if and when you feel like maybe moving to the sofa.”

Hutch was surprised to realize that he was feeling sleepy, even though it was only mid afternoon.

Starsky’s lips touched his forehead. “I love you, honey. So much.”

It had turned out to be a nice party. In addition to Nick and Lannie, there was Lorraine and Clark, plus the twentysomething next door neighbor of Nick and Lannie, Grace, whose husband was away on business. She’d appreciated being invited to celebrate her new friend’s birthday.

After a steak meal and birthday cake had been consumed, and gifts opened, Lannie made noises about having promised the babysitter they wouldn’t be later than eleven. Therefore, Starsky put the VHS tape into the video recorder for Your Favorite Late Night Show from a few weeks ago.

All the guests sat on the sofas. Hutch, who seemed to have regained much of his strength, was in the easy chair.

After the tape was loaded, Starsky pushed the fast forward button. “We’ve already watched this, and he doesn’t say anything about us in the monologue, except referring to us as ‘authors of a book about a pair of cops.’”

“Which isn’t even accurate,” Hutch said, “since I’m not listed as an author of the book.”

“Who else was on?” Grace asked.

“Some B rate actor,” Hutch said. “I can’t think of the guy’s name, but he’s on one of the new detective shows that managed not to get canceled this season. And some comedian I’d never heard of.”

Clark asked, “What was Tony Torrington like?”

Starsky glanced back. “We didn’t get to meet him, until we were on.”

“He doesn’t talk you to you before the show?” Grace asked in disbelief.

“No. You’re just in this room — they call it the green room — with the other guests. And there’s all these snacks and drinks. And the TV is showing the audience warm-up, and then the actual show.”

Hutch said, “But somebody came in and talked to us, since we hadn’t been on the show before, and had only seen it a few times. He wanted to make sure that we understood that if Torrington said something that rubbed us wrong, it was only because his goal is to be humorous. And to just let it pass and continue talking about the book.”

“Yeah,” Starsky recalled, as he kept an eye on the VCR’s numerical counter. “I had to keep that in mind, because it’s like he said hardly anything about the book itself.”

“He didn’t read it,” Hutch noted dryly. “That’s what they told us ahead of time — that he never reads the books, so he’s not going to say anything about the book itself, but just try to make jokes from whatever we say about it, and what his people write for him on the cue cards.”

The counter was approaching the number Starsky had written down on a note paper, and he now pushed the STOP button. “Okay, this should be right about where we come on.” He pressed PLAY and then scooted back, next to Hutch’s feet.

A man in a suit was standing on stage.

“This is the comedian,” Hutch said.

“He’s almost done,” Starsky assured.

“He wasn’t very good,” Nick noted.

Lannie smiled at Nick. “It wouldn’t have mattered if he was, you were so eager for David and Kenny to hurry-up an be on.”

“We almost weren’t,” Starsky said, as the audience clapped. The camera panned to Tommy Torrington, who was in his early forties and had dark, shagged hair, and wore a powder blue suit. He held out his hand to the comedian, “That was terrific, thanks so much.” He turned to the camera, “We’ll be right back after this message from our sponsors. Don’t go away.”

Since the tape didn’t include commercials, it next showed Torrington at his desk, holding an index card in his hand. To someone off camera, he said hopefully, “I think we’re done for the night, aren’t we?”

Nick snorted, “This is part of his whole routine. Talking to his producer off camera. It’s like having a side kick.”

Torrington continued, “We have time for him?” His voice seemed genuinely surprised. Then, “There’s two of them?”

Hutch grumbled, “He’s wasting all this time with all this preliminary bullshit.”

“Yeah, we only had, like, five minutes,” Starsky said. “After being at the studio all afternoon. We wanted to make sure we could find it okay, and all that.”

“All right then.” Torrington held held the card in his hand. “My last guest — guests, I guess it is — have written a book about an unusual relationship between a pair of top cops in Bay City, California.” He looked at the camera with a grin. “Well, I guess we’ll now find out what really goes on during those late night stakeouts.” The audience laughed, as he looked back at the card. “Please welcome, David Starsky and Ken Hutchinson.” He turned toward the curtain near his desk. The audience began clapping.

Starsky led the way as he and Hutch appeared, holding out their hands to Torrington.

“You look almost like you’re bashful,” Lorraine said, “or embarrassed.”

Hutch defended, “It feels weird walking out onto a stage, where hundreds of strangers have their eyes focused on you.”

“Yeah,” Starsky said, “totally different from that little talk show we did here in town.”

Clark put in, “You don’t look out of place.”

“Hopefully not,” Starsky said.

After they sat down, Torrington held the book, so that the cover was facing the camera. “This is The Story of Us.”

“He’s got one eye on his cue card,” Starsky pointed out, “on his desk.”

“A book about your lives as cops,” Torrington went on. He grinned at them. “So, what really does go on during those late night stakeouts?”

Nick scoffed, “Does he even know the book is about your relationship?”

Starsky didn’t bother answering, but watched himself reply, “Well, for us, we of course carefully watched for any activity by our mark — the person or persons we were tailing — but to help each other stay alert, you know, you have conversation. In the early years of our partnership, Hutch and I got to know each other all the better, during a lot of stakeouts.”

Torrington looked up from the card on his desk. “So, you decided that since there weren’t any girls available, that each other would do?” The audience laughed.

In reply, Hutch deadpanned, “We were never involved with each other while we were cops. That’s what the book is about — about how our relationship became closer and closer, and stronger and stronger, mainly because of things that happened to us as cops.” He looked out at the audience.

From the sofa, Clark said, “You’re handling his stupid questions really well.”

“So,” Starsky said on the TV, “if you read the book, you’ll read about a super tight friendship that eventually blossomed into a full blown love relationship, in a way we never expected.”

Torrington crossed his arms and feigned a stern voice. “Are you saying that you’re gay?” The audience laughed.

Starsky replied with a grin, “I guess that’s what people call it now. We weren’t concerned about calling it anything. We just knew that we loved each other.” He glanced over at Hutch.

Hutch picked up, “Yeah. My relationship with David has been the most intense, the most fulfilling relationship of my life. I think he captures that really well in the book. It’s not about gay life. It’s about the growth of a relationship, and where that relationship took us.”

Torrington was now in a close-up, as he showed the front of the book. “It’s called The Story of Us. Pick up a copy. That’s our show.” As the audience clapped, he glanced beside him and said, “Thanks for being on, gentlemen.”

While the credits rolled, Torrington was seen shaking hands with Starsky and Hutch, as they stood from their chairs.

“Is that all?” Lorraine asked with disappointment.

“Yeah,” Starsky said, punching off the VCR. “At least, we got on.”

Lannie asked, “So, has it helped your sales?”

“Too early to tell,” Hutch replied. “We’re just hoping that maybe a few thousand people watched to the very end, and maybe they’ll buy the book.”

“What I think would be really terrific,” Starsky said, “is if we could get on the Johnny Carson show. That would be incredible.”

“How did you get on this show?” Clark asked.

“We don’t know,” Hutch said. “Our agent got us on. He’s gay and, I guess, he has contacts. You know, I think people who are part of that inner circle in this region tend to help each other out. So, getting on something like Johnny Carson would take him knowing somebody who has some influence.”

Nick stood and yawned. “It’s going on eleven. We need to get going. It was good seeing that again, though it was so short.” He helped Lanette gather her things

“Yeah, but hopefully it got some people interested,” Starsky said. “And then, there’s some little local suburban magazine that interviewed me a couple of weeks ago. It should be out in a few months. The gal that did the interview had read the book, so she asked really good questions. It was fun talking to her about it. I was able to be a lot more in-depth than with the TV stuff.”

“Yeah,” Hutch said, as he started to join their departing guests for the door. “I sat in on that. Even if just a few people read it, I don’t see how they can’t be anything but interested enough to buy the book.”


The breeze was crisp, making the sun all the more welcome, as Starsky and Hutch joined nearly two dozen people at the training farm, including those that had, indeed, arrived on a small bus, as part of a program to attract new owners to the sport.

There had been refreshments served, and a brief history of the farm given. For the sake of the potential owners, there was also a brief history of racing in America, the origins of the Thoroughbred, and particularly, how the sport had developed in California.

There was a small group of bleachers in front of the training track — a much smaller, more crude rendition of an actual racetrack, as there wasn’t a grandstand, and the track was only a half mile in circumference.

“And now,” the farm manager, Lance Lowell, said, as he stood before the bleachers with a thick clipboard in front of him, “we’ll get to the main event, that most of you have been waiting for. Your yearlings have been in training since September, and we’ll let them canter by, one by one, in alphabetical order, by the dam’s name, since some haven’t been formally named yet.”

In the distance, near the beginning of the straightaway, were a group of horses and riders. Lowell waved toward them. “Our first one is going to be this nice looking gray colt, owned by Mr. And Mrs. John Levington.” The colt began to canter along the straightway. “He’s by Fleet Nasrullah and out of the Gray Dawn mare Action Plan.” He glanced up at the smartly dressed, elderly couple on the second row of the bleachers. “I don’t believe you have a name for him yet.”

The couple shook their heads. Mrs. Levington said, “We just call him Charlie, for now. We’ll wait until it’s closer until he races.”

The gray cantered by them.

Lowell continued, “Now, all we’re doing here, at this farm, is putting a good foundation on these yearlings. We’ve broken them to saddle, and do slow gallops to build up their muscles. Later, they’ll be introduced to the starting gate,” he indicated the metal contraption a the far end of the straightway, which was considerably smaller and more narrow than a starting gate at an actual racetrack. “Here, at the beginning of their training, we aren’t concerned about speed. We never put a stopwatch on them. That’s for when they go to the racetrack in a few months.” He paused to watch the gray continue into the turn, then returned his gaze to the Levingtons. “That’s a really nice moving colt.”

“We’re happy with him so far,” Mr. Levington said.

Lowell waited until a bay colt came onto the track, which Starsky thought looked like Danny. Lowell looked at his notes. “This next colt has the registered name of Depth Charge. He’s by Flying Paster and out of the Forli mare Deep Waters.”

From the group of new people, someone muttered excitedly, “Flying Paster! I saw him race.”

Danny began to canter toward the bleachers, and Lowell said, “Flying Paster was one of the best horses racing in California, in the late 70s.”

Starsky squeezed Hutch’s knee, from where they were sitting in the back row. “Man, it’s so incredible that he’s actually carrying a rider now.”

Lowell watched as Danny cantered closer. “Now, if some of you are experienced racing fans, you might note that his stride isn’t long and reaching, like you normally see on a racehorse. That’s because these horses are still young and a bit awkward, like a teenager. As they train more and build up muscle, they’ll eventually get a longer, reaching stride on them.” Lowell looked at his card, and then to the bleachers. “And this nicely bred colt is owned by David Starsky and Ken Hutchinson.” He nodded toward them.

Mrs. Levington turned to glance back at them, and then at Lowell. “You said he’s out of Deep Waters?” she asked, as Danny cantered by.

“Yes,” Lowell said. “I believe she was a stakes winner.”

“Grade 2 stakes winner,” Starsky clarified.

Mrs. Levinton nodded. “I thought the name was familiar. If he’s by Flying Paster… you must be really excited about him.”

“Sure are,” Hutch said.

Danny cantered past the bleachers, his ears pricked forward, and Starsky felt a shiver of excitement go up his spine, despite the slow, steady pace.

Lowell said, “I believe that’s the first foal out of Deep Waters, isn’t it?”

“Yeah.” Starsky nodded. Then, “She’s got a filly this year by Storm Bird, who stands in Kentucky.”

Another man turned to look back at him. “Is the filly a Cal-bred?”

“Yeah, we brought her back here to foal.”

Lowell looked down the track. “I see we’ve got our next horse, a bay filly.” He glanced at the group of potential owners. “When we’re done here, I’ll tell you about the advantages of racing a Cal-bred horse in California.”

For the next thirty minutes, a dozen other yearlings cantered before the crowd, and then the audience began to break off into small groups.

“How you holding up?” Starsky asked, his hand at Hutch’s elbow. Though Hutch was back at work, he still admitted to some not feeling quite himself, and continued to express amazement at how such a brief illness had robbed him of so much strength.

“I’m doing fine,” Hutch assured. He pulled his jacket more tightly around him. “Just wish the wind wasn’t quite so strong.”

“Oh, hey, everyone.” They paused to see Lowell look up, from where he was surrounded by the new people, “if you’re interested, there’s a colt being broken to saddle, over in the barn area. He arrived from Florida a little while back, and hadn’t been broken yet. So, if you’re interested in seeing what that process is like, you can head over to the barn. The boys will be working with him, as soon as they’ve got the other yearlings put away in their stalls.”

Starsky nudged Hutch. “Hey, let’s watch that, since we didn’t get to see Danny broken to saddle.”

“Sure. But I want to get another soda first.”

They turned toward the table with refreshments. After they each selected a can from the cooler, a thirtyish woman with short brown hair stopped next to them. “Hey, uh, hi. I’m Mandy.”

“Hello,” they greeted. Hutch asked, “Are you here with the new owners?”

“Yes,” she said. “With my father, but I think he’s bored.” She nodded toward a group of older men. “But I think he found someone to talk golf with, so maybe he’ll be all right for a little while longer.”

She seemed to hesitate, and Starsky prompted, “Anything we can help you with? We’ve actually only owned one racehorse — Deep Waters, the mother of the second yearling that galloped, Depth Charge. But we might be able to answer some questions.”

She released a heavy breath. “I probably shouldn’t even be here. I thought this would be fun. And it is.” She quickly shook her head. “But I don’t have the money for something like this. I mean, ordinary people can’t afford something like this, right?”

“Probably not,” Starsky said. “Not on their own. But people can get involved in partnerships and pool their money together. That kind of thing.”

Hutch said, “We’re really not the best to give advice, from that end. How we came to be racehorse owners, it’s something we fell into. Completely unexpected.”

Starsky felt excited at being able to re-tell that story. “Yeah. We’re private detectives. Used to be cops. A few years back, we had a client that wanted us to investigate his racehorse partnership. Wanted us to act as owners, so we could move freely around the racetrack and talk with the manager of the partnership. Anyway, he up and died of a heart attack, while the horses were under the partnership’s name, with a managing partner that was doing shady things.”

Hutch deadpanned, “The short version, Starsk.”

“Anyway, long story short, we ended up with the best of the three, the filly, Deep Waters, who hadn’t raced yet. And didn’t cost us anything, because we traded the other two for her, and some money in an expense fund… anyway,” he shrugged, “like Hutch said, we just fell into it. So, it’s not like we had to figure out how to afford it.”

She kept looking from one to the other, and Starsky realized that their story might be making her uncomfortable. “I wouldn’t turn away from the idea of partnerships, though, just because we had a bad experience with a partner.”

She swallowed thickly, still looking carefully at them both. Then she shielded her eyes from the sun. “This is going to sound really corny. I’ve only been to a racetrack in person a couple of times. I’ve mostly just watched races on TV. But, I swear, I’ve seen you two before. Have you, like, been on a Kentucky Derby telecast, or something like that?”

“Oh, no,” Hutch said, “nothing like that. I mean, we had us a nice filly in Deep Waters, but the races weren’t televised or anything.”

“We were cops,” Starsky reminded, “and got some press. But that was a long time ago.”

Hutch’s eyes widened, as he asked, “Do you ever watch Tony Torrington?”

Her faced brightened, and she lowered he hand from her eyes. “Yes. Yes. That’s it! You were on Tony Torrington recently, weren’t you?”

Starsky was thrilled to be recognized. “Yes.”

She seemed perplexed. “But I don’t remember why you were on. It wasn’t about this, was it?”

“No, the racing thing, no.” Starsky wondered if she were going to be upset about the truth. “I wrote a book.”

“Oh, right,” she said. “A book about…,” she glanced from one to the other, “I’m not sure that I understood what it was about.”

Starsky had been afraid of that, considering how unhelpful Torrington had been in promoting it.

“It was about us,” Hutch said simply. “Our partnership. From the time we were cops, until now. We’re partners. In every sense of the word.”

Starsky filled in the awkward pause with, “It’s called The Story of Us.

“I’ll have to get a copy now, for sure,” she said levelly. Then, “So… this means I don’t have to worry about either of you wanting to make a pass at me?”

“Yes,” Hutch replied, a hint of humor in his voice. “That’s what that means.”

Mandy put a hand to her chest. “I’m so relieved. I mean, now that I know why you looked so familiar. It’s been bugging me like crazy, since we got off the bus, and I saw you here.”

Starsky glanced at Hutch and enjoyed quipping, “I guess this means that we’re officially famous.”

“Maybe I can get you to sign my copy of the book sometime, after I buy it.”

Hutch reached into his pocket and brought out his wallet. He leafed through it. “Here’s our card. Actually, the address and phone number are likely to change in February but, if so, you should still be able to find us through Information.”

“Thanks!” she said, looking at it. “You’re in Bay City. I live just over in Seasprite.”

That was a suburb of Bay City.

She glanced around. “Looks like everyone is heading for for the barns, where I guess they said that new yearling is being broken.”

“Yeah, we want to watch that.”

“Let me make sure my Dad knows where I’m going. I’ll catch up to you.”

As Starsky and Hutch headed toward the barn, Starsky said, “Nice gal, huh?”

“Yeah. What was her name?”


“Mandy. Maybe she’ll actually buy a copy.”

“She certainly sounded sincere. Don’t you think?”

“Yeah. But I bet a lot of people think they’re going to buy it, but then never actually get around to it.”

“Do ya have to be so pragmatic?” Starsky grumbled.

When they arrived at the barn area, a group of people were gathered around an open stall, with pipe fencing, where a chestnut was inside. He was saddled and his bridle was held by a groom. He shifted restlessly while watching the crowd gather.

Lowell faced the group. “This horse has spent the past week being lunged, and then driven with long lines. That gets him used to responding to the reins of a bridle. What’s more, all that ground work has been done with what we call a surcingle. That’s a strap that goes around the horse, like the girth of a saddle. The surcingle doesn’t have a saddle attached, since it isn’t necessary yet. But the surcingle gets him used to having to the feel of a girth, and moving with it, so when we reach the point of putting a saddle on him, tightening the girth is no big deal.”

Lowell glanced at a waiting rider, who wore a helmet, and nodded at him. The rider approached the chestnut, as Lowell explained, “What we do first is ‘belly’ the horse. So what Farris, here, is going to do, is lie on his belly across the saddle. That way, it’s very difficult for the horse to throw him, if the horse gets upset, and it also allows the horse to get accustomed to feeling the rider’s weight, for the first time. It’s a very safe way of introducing the yearling to a rider’s weight.”

Farris pushed off the ground, and launched across the saddle on his stomach. The yearling began to shift his stall, his ears pinned back.

The groom patted the chestnut’s neck, whispering softly.

Lowell watched a moment, and then said, “He’s not sure he likes that weight on his back, but he’s actually doing very well.”

A woman from the group asked, “How come he’s not bucking, like they always do in the movies?”

Lowell replied, “Sometimes they do a little bucking. But it’s unusual that they do much protesting. We call it breaking horses to saddle, but what we’re actually doing is schooling them. We don’t want to break them — break their spirit. All we’re doing is introducing them to something new. These horses have been handled by humans pretty much every day, since they were born. We’ve never hurt them. So, when they’re introduced to a new situation, they usually trust that we’re not going to put them in harm’s way.”

“Wow,” Starsky said to Hutch. “That’s pretty amazing for having a rider on his back for the first time, huh?”

Hutch said, “I’ve seen it at the stables, where I had Poncho. When you bring them along gradually, it really doesn’t have to be a big deal when they have a rider for the first time. The movies always try to make it dramatic — the whole wild west, bucking bronco thing.”

The yearling was moving in a more relaxed circle. Farris slapped his hands along the horses sides, opposite of where his legs were.

“What’s he doing?” someone asked.

Lowell answered, “He’s trying to mimic what it’s going to be like to have his legs brushing against the horse when he sits up. He’s just letting the horse get used to the sensation of having human limbs bumping against him.”

The chestnut’s ears pinned back, but then flicked forward a few moments later.

“See,” Lowell said. “He’s been introduced to something completely new — having a rider’s weight on his back — and he’s handling it just fine. In fact,” he turned to nod at Farris, “I think Farris is going to go ahead and sit up on him now.”

Farris moved one leg over the horse’s hindquarters, so that he was straddling him, and then straightened in the saddle.

There were impressed murmurs from the crowd.

Lowell smiled at his audience. “Mission accomplished. This yearling is now accepting a rider.” As Farris and the groom both patted the yearling’s neck, Lowell added, “The next few days, he’ll be ridden in a small corral, so he can get used to walking, trotting, and cantering with a rider’s weight. Then they’ll move on to training on the track, with the focus being getting the horse in condition, so he’s eventually in good enough shape to ship to an actual racetrack, this coming spring.”

Mrs. Levington called out, “How did Charlie do, when he was broken?”

Ferris tilted his head. “Charlie, the gray?”


Ferris grinned. “He was a character. He didn’t buck when I first go on him. But the next few days, when riding to the corral, he’d do little short hops, like he wanted to buck, but wasn’t sure how. He moves real nice now.”

Starsky took his opportunity. “What about Danny?”

“Danny? Oh, yeah, Danny is a sweetheart. Real even tempered.”

After patting the yearling once again, Farris dismounted.

Lowell said, “That’s our activities for today. Feel free to hang around, if you still have questions.”

A few people started to move away.

“Hi again.”

They both turned to see Mandy, holding an elderly man’s hand. “Fellas, I’d like you to meet my father, Peter Doyle. Here’s the two men I told you about. I saw them on a talk show a few weeks ago.”

Starsky held out his hand. “Mr. Doyle, nice to meet you. I’m Dave Starsky.”

Hutch held out his hand. “Ken Hutchinson.”

Doyle shook their hands. “Nice to meet you both. So, I guess you’re experienced at this racehorse thing?”

Starsky wondered if Mandy had told her father the nature of his book, or just the fact that they owned racehorses. “Not near as experienced as probably a lot of the other people here. We’ve just raced one filly. And now her first foal is a yearling here.”

“I’m afraid my daughter tends to get her head filled with dreams of outlandish things. I think what she really needs to keep her entertained is a husband and a family.”

“Dad,” she scolded, her arm around him.

He continued, “She’s let one bad apple swear her off of men forever.”

Smoothly, Hutch asked, “You’ve been married then?”

“Almost,” Mandy replied. “I’m glad I backed out before it was too late. But it’s not as grim as Dad makes it sound.”

Doyle countered, “Now she’s got it in her head that owning some racehorses will fulfill her life. I doubt it.”

She sighed. “This is all too expensive, anyway, though I’m really glad we came. But the bus is getting ready to leave.”

“It’s been great meeting you,” Hutch said

“Yes, do keep our card,” Starsky added.

“I’ll do that.”

Mandy and her father turned away.


Hutch was quiet after they left the farm.

Starsky asked, “You still feeling okay?”

“Yeah,” Hutch replied distantly.

“You thinking about Mandy?”

Hutch sighed. “No. Danny.”

Starsky looked at him in surprise. “Why?”

“Didn’t it seem to you like Lowell was saying nice things about most all the other horses? But not Danny?”

Starsky furrowed his brow. “What do you mean?”

“Like that first horse. The gray one. He talked about how nice he moved. Then Danny comes along, and he starts talking about how awkward his stride is.”

“Because he’s like a teenager. He meant that about all the yearlings.”

“But then there was that filly, with the big blaze, and he was saying what a great attitude she had. I mean, it’s like he complimented almost all the horses, except Danny.”

“I think you’re reading way too much into what he said. Besides, he said nice things about Darla and Flying Paster.”

“Yeah, Danny’s breeding. But he didn’t say anything complimentary about Danny himself.”

“I think Danny moved great. And that rider said he was a real sweetheart.”

Hutch looked over at him. “I’m not sure that racehorses are supposed to be ‘sweet’ natured.”

“What?” Starsky asked with a hint of humor. “You mean, as opposed to Bri?”

Before coming to the training farm, they had stopped by the breeding farm where Darla and Bri were boarded. Bri was now with the weanlings, and since the farm hands were working on a stall door in the weanling barn, Starsky and Hutch had assured them that they could find Bri themselves, among the dozens of weanlings in the pasture. They had indeed found her without much trouble, but she kept moving away from them. Once, Hutch got within a few feet, and when he reached out his hand to pet her, she threw her head back and bared her teeth. Upon getting in their car, one of the farm hands asked if they had found Bri. “Sure did,” Hutch replied, “and I thought she wanted to take my head off, or at least a few fingers.” The man had chuckled and simply said, “Yeah, she’s a real pistol.”

Hutch muttered to Starsky, “Thoroughbreds are known for being hot blooded. You just don’t hear of famous racehorses being ‘sweethearts.’”

Starsky scoffed, “How can Danny be anything but a good racehorse? He has great bloodlines.”

“You know how many thousands of horses there are that have great breeding, yet aren’t successful racehorses?”

“How would Lowell even know that, at this point? How can anyone know how good any of these horses are going to be before they actually start racing?”

Hutch shrugged. “He’s probably seen hundreds of yearlings in his life, and knows what a good one looks like when they’re young. I mean, it’s not like he’s going to tell us that Danny isn’t doing that well, when he’s collecting training and board money from us.”

Unhappily, Starsky said, “I think that flu has fried your brain.”


Hutch felt he was close to being fully recovered the following Monday. He was grateful to have his own office, with a door that closed, so that he could block out the increasing chatter that had become the norm for their suite. Like all the other employees of Starsky and Hutchinson, Inc., he was impatient for the day when they would be in their own, much roomier building.

His phone beeped. “Ken? Your two o’clock appointment is here.”

“Show him in.”

At least, this wouldn’t be another cheating spouse case. This new client had said that he wanted to “find out information on a deceased person”. Yet, Lois’s probing questions had indicated that it wasn’t an ancestry case. Still, Hutch didn’t yet know who Roy Larson wanted to find information about.

Hutch came from behind his desk, as his office door opened. “Mr. Larson?” he greeted, holding out his hand, as Lois stood to one side.

“Roy, please.” Larson was in his early thirties, with dark hair, well-chiseled features, green eyes, and thick glasses that made him appear a touch intellectual. He was in clean, crisp jeans and a button shirt. His demeanor was one of nervousness, despite his firm jaw.

Lois closed the door, and Hutch indicated the chair at the small conference table. “Have a seat, Roy.” He grabbed a yellow pad, and sat opposite his new client. “It’s my understanding that you want to find information on a deceased person.” He flipped the tablet to a clean page. “Who would that be?”

Larson gazed at the tabletop. Then he said, “I need to explain this in my own way. Please bear with me.”

“All right.” Hutch sat back.

Larson swallowed thickly. Then, with his gaze averted, “I was my parents’ only child. My father had played football in college. He was an athlete, all the way. The whole macho scene.” His jaw flexed, before he continued. “Of course, he wanted — expected — me to be like that, too. But,” Larson shook his head, “I just didn’t have that in me. I could sort of play soccer, baseball — for football, I definitely wasn’t the type.”

Hutch felt compassion for Larson’s situation.

Larson drew a breath. “My strength was in sciences. Math. My father didn’t care about any of that. Winning athletic competitions was all that mattered to him. He was a high school football coach — at a different school than I went to — and also coached Little League teams in the summer.” Larson now stared at the floor. “I was such a disappointment to him.”

Hutch squelched his inclination to be reassuring, so Larson wouldn’t be interrupted. He took notes as Larson continued.

“I was an Honor Roll student. Every semester. And all he felt was disappointment.” After a long moment, Larson looked up nervously, as though fearing further judgment. Then, calmly, he said, “I moved out of my parents’ home as soon as I graduated high school. Got a job at a chemical company, while I went to college. Got my B.S. in Engineering. Only visited my parents for the major holidays, things like that. Occasionally talked to my mother on the phone. Never my father, unless he answered the phone, and then he’d immediately turn it over to my mother.”

Larson shifted in his chair, and then folded his hands on the desktop. He looked toward Hutch, though not directly at him. “Three months ago, my father died. Heart attack.” He shrugged. “I didn’t really feel anything about his death. Maybe even felt some relief, that I wouldn’t be subjected to his disappointment any longer. But I was the dutiful son, and helped my mother with some of the arrangements. Went to the funeral, of course.” He drew a deep breath. “There were a lot of eulogies. Mostly, about my father’s dedication to sports.” Larson tilted his head. “But - but there was other stuff, too. Stuff that surprised me.”

Hutch studied the troubled expression, and then gently asked, “What stuff?”

Finally, Larson looked at him, while releasing a soft snort. “One person — another coach, I think — talked about how much my father contributed to various charities, like children’s hospitals. Things I wouldn’t have thought he was interested in doing. A woman talked about how my father had helped her with her car, when it was broken down on the highway, and how he made sure she got home okay, and since she couldn’t afford to have her car repaired, my father had a mechanic he knew go over and fix it. The mechanic told her not to worry about it — he was doing a favor for a friend. My father was very much a ‘stand on your own two feet’ type of person. It’s so hard to imagine him wanting to help someone out of their troubles — and, especially, paying for it.”

Larson bit his lower lip. “In the months since his death, I’ve had to reach the conclusion that I really never knew my father at all. I thought I did. That he was all about sports. Apparently, there was a lot more too him than that.” His gaze shifted away. “Perhaps, that’s partly my fault. That I never knew him.”

After an extended silence, Hutch ventured, “So, you’re wanting me to find out about him?”


Keeping his voice soft, Hutch asked, “What about your mother? Is she still alive?”


Hutch furrowed his brow. “Is there a reason you can’t simply… ask her about your father?”

Larson shifted with discomfort. “Maybe I can someday. But I don’t know how to talk to her. About important things. Everything with her is always peripheral.”

Hutch felt he could relate, and reminded himself that he needed to keep a professional distance.

For the first time, Larson’s mouth corner twitched, as though foretelling a smile. “I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just that, she comes from a family where the wife never questions the husband. I think she was sort of puzzled by my father’s attitude toward me, maybe even felt bad for me, but she wouldn’t have even known how to interfere — if interfering had even occurred to her.”

Hutch asked, “Where did you grow up?”

“In Tucson, Arizona. I went to school at the University of Arizona, and then got a job here in Bay City with a marine biology company, designing underwater equipment.”

“And your father was always in coaching?”

“Yes. He worked at the same district throughout his career.”

The back of Hutch’s mind was pondering the best way to approach this case. “Do you have a figure in mind, in terms of how much you’re willing to spend? If you have a list of names and contact information, on people you specifically want us to talk to, that will keep the cost down. But if you want us to try to uncover as much as we can, by talking to as many people as possible… that could get expensive, especially when you consider travel costs. Sometimes, people are a lot more forthcoming, person-to-person, than they are in a telephone interview.”

Larson nodded. “I assumed you would have to travel to Tucson, at least once. As far as a list, I have a whole bunch of contact information, because of having done the funeral arrangements. Over a hundred people attended. I can mark the ones that spoke, and you can start there. And if you feel it would be worthwhile to expand beyond that, feel free.” He shifted again. “My father left me some money. Or, rather, my mother gave me money that she said my father left me. I don’t know if that’s really true or not, or if she just gave me part of what he left her.”

Hutch again thought it odd that Larson wouldn’t simply ask his mother, but he didn’t want to press the point.

Larson continued, “You know, there isn’t any kind of rush, or anything. I just figure you’ll work on this case when you can. My father’s already dead. Nothing that you find out about him is going to bring him back.”


At dinner, Starsky and Hutch sat across from each other, eating pot roast.

“So, how are you thinking you want to tackle it?” Starsky asked, after Hutch had repeated Larson’s story.

“We’re already a week into December. The school district in Tucson breaks for the holidays the 19th. So, I think I need to go down there before then, before everyone who knew Randolph Larson goes on vacation, and possibly leaves town.”

“You wanting to go by yourself?”

“We can’t both be away. I figure it’ll be a couple of days. If I need to go back later, I can.”

Starsky gazed at Hutch a long moment. “Roy Larson got to you, didn’t he?”

Hutch shrugged. “It’s a sad story. I don’t know what would be the better result. For me to come back to him and say, yep, his father was a complete jerk and one of the most awful fathers imaginable. Or if, it turns out, his father actually had some pride in his son, but could never bring himself to tell him, and now it’s too late for anything to be done about it.”

“It’s not our call,” Starsky noted gently. “You’ve just got to report to Larson whatever you find out.”

“Yeah.” Hutch shifted in his chair. “Roy just seems like a decent guy, you know? Educated, good job. How can his own father have turned his back on him? Not cared that he was an Honor Roll student and all that?”

Starsky sighed. “Well, unfortunately, his isn’t the only story out there, like that. Lots of people — sons — have fathers that wanted them to follow in their footsteps, and run the family business, or whatever. But we each have to follow our own path.”

Hutch’s mouth corner twitched. “No, that thought has never occurred to me.”

Starsky snorted. Then he asked, “So, when are you thinking you’re flying to Tucson?”

“I think I should fly out Monday morning, and stay until Tuesday afternoon.”



Starsky straightened from where he’d leaned over the water fountain outside the office suite. A woman in her early thirties, who looked somewhat familiar, approached him with a large smile, a book in her hand.

“Hi,” he greeted, desperately trying to recall her name.

She sensed his trouble and pointed to herself. “Mandy.”

He snapped his fingers, aware of water trickling down his chin. “Oh, right, Mandy, from the training farm.”

She nodded. “Well, not exactly from the farm. I live in the Seasprite area.”

“Oh, right. Terrific.”

She indicated the book. “I picked up your book, and wondered if you would autograph it for me.”

He felt flattered, and moved to the door of the suite. “By all means. Come inside.” He held the door open for her, and then quickly moved past the office chatter from employees on telephones, to Hutch’s empty office, to show her in. “Hutch is out of town on business, but sit right down here.” He indicated the conference table.

She sat, while he reached to Hutch’s desk to find a felt pen. She said, “You must miss Hutch when he’s away.”

“Yep,” Starsky said with a sigh, sitting back down. “Unfortunately, we’re super busy here, so I couldn’t go with him. But we’re expecting to move into our own building soon. That’ll help a lot.” He took the book and opened it.

She said, “When I bought this at Barb’s Book Nook, I told her that I’d met the author and was going to have you autograph it. She said that you should talk to her about having a book signing. She said it could help boost sales”.


Mandy took a card from her sweater pocket. “Here’s her card. She says she likes to give special attention to local authors, and do whatever she can to help them out.”

Starsky accepted the card. “Thanks! I guess she wasn’t there when I dropped off a box of books, when it first came out. In fact, I remember now that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with the books, because the only person there was a clerk, who behaved like it was her first day, so I wasn’t sure if Barb even saw the box.”

“She’s got your book on display.”

“Thanks,” he said again, putting the card into his pocket. “Appreciate it.” He took the marker off the pen, and turned the book to the title page. He paused to consider, and then wrote To Mandy, May All Your Dreams Come True, and signed it. He pushed the book back over to her.

She opened it, read briefly, and smiled at him. “Aahh.” Then she admitted, “I’ve only browsed through a few sections of it. I’m planning a little getaway up the coast this weekend, and intend to read it then.”

“How’s your father?” he asked.

“Oh, he’s fine. Thanks for asking. Of course, wondering what I’m doing driving up the coast alone. He’s old-fashioned. Or maybe,” she said with a self-conscious laugh, “maybe I was born ten or twenty years before my time.” Then, “I’m not one of those women who needs a man to feel complete. Dad can’t ever understand that.”

“Well, different generations,” Starsky said, glancing at the clock. He realized what he wanted to ask, and his mind immediately went to last summer, when Hutch had taken an opportunity to be alone with a woman, and that had led down a road that he’d felt he couldn’t turn back from.

As Starsky studied Mandy, aware that she really wasn’t his type, another masculine part of him realized that he would have considered her a challenge to conquer, a number of years ago. He reminded himself that she was aware that neither he nor Hutch were available — in fact, that seemed to increase her comfort around them. “Hey, it’s about time for happy hour. Want to get a beer? Maybe an early dinner? Since I’m the boss, I can do that.”

She smiled at him. “Sure!”


That night, Starsky felt overly full, as he lay on the water bed, and brought the phone to his ear. “Hello.”

“Hey. I’m calling you from a motel in Tucson.”

“How are you feeling?”

“I’m all right. Pooped and ready for bed, though it’s only nine.”

“Did you find out anything?”

“I was able to talk to three people at different times, who worked with Larson in the school district. They all had fond memories. I asked each of them if Larson had children, and they all said he had a son. One elaborated and said that he thought the son was some kind of engineer. But that was all he said. I couldn’t prod him farther, without giving away that I was acting on behalf of Roy.”

“Yeah. At least, it’s something. What are you doing tomorrow?”

“Planning on going to the house Roy grew up in. See if any neighbors are still there. Plus, one of the coaches gave me an address for a local charity Larson contributed to. See if that leads anywhere.”


“What about you?”

Starsky was eager to reply, “I had a really terrific dinner.”


“Yeah. You won’t believe who with.”

Wearily, Hutch said, “Don’t make me guess.”

“Okay, okay. It was Mandy. From the training stable.”


“Yeah, she came by, so I could autograph her copy of our book. Then we got to talking, and I invited her to dinner. Had a really interesting conversation.”

Hutch’s voice was guarded. “As long as she doesn’t get the wrong idea.”

“No, no. Remember? At the training farm, she was glad that she was safe from either of us making a pass at her.”

“So she said.”

“I believe her. I wish you could have been there. She’s really independent. Has her own life. She’s got a job at whats-it-called type of writing,” Starsky snapped his fingers as he drew on memory, “technical writing.”

“Technical writing?”

“Yeah. She works at a company that writes the manuals for all sorts of things, like how to operate a lawn mower, for one of the big lawn mower manufacturers. And she’s in demand, because she has a knack for all the new computer stuff, and she’s a really fast typist.”

Hutch’s voice was puzzled. “Didn’t she have some big break-up or something, with a man?”

“She was engaged to be married. And a month before the wedding, she said she realized she was doing it only because that’s what she’d been told all her life that she was supposed to want to do. And she realized she was just going through the motions and, even though she was real fond of the guy, she didn’t like how he talked down to her, just because she was a girl. She finally had to face that — that she didn’t want to be talked to like that, the rest of her life — and called it off.”


“So, you know, she’s dealing with her father feeling like he hasn’t succeeded in raising her, until she’s married off, and while she’s not against eventually getting married, she likes living her own life.”

Hutch’s voice was a touch amused. “You sound smitten, partner.”

“Nothing like that. It’s more a brother-sisterly thing. But she was fun to talk to. I’m sorry you missed it. But I’m sure we’ll be getting together again sometime.”

“Yeah? Why is that?”

“Well, we sort of got to talking about the racing thing, and Mandy sort of would like to get involved, but she doesn’t want to be in a partnership with a bunch of strangers, and she still thinks it will be too much money, unless it’s only a small share in a horse… anyway, I didn’t say anything, because I wanted to talk to you first, but I’m thinking maybe we could let her buy into a small percent of Danny. Maybe both Danny and Bri.”

There was a pause.

Starsky quickly said, “We can talk about that later. But I was telling her that I’d like her to see the video tapes we have of Darla and her foals, so maybe, after you’re back, we can invite her over some time. Plus, she told me the local bookstore where she bought her book, wants me to contact them to have a book signing. That could really help sales.”

In amazement, Hutch asked, “How long were you two at dinner?”

“Maybe a couple of hours, I guess. Like I said, I had a good time. It was so refreshing to talk to her. It had nothing to do with our cases, or buying a new building, or any of that stuff.”

“Or our non-existent sex life.”

Starsky felt himself grinning. “You tell me where and when, buddy boy, and I’ll accommodate.”

Hutch made a non-committal noise.

“Don’t stress yourself, worrying about that.” Starsky became more serious, as he realized a blunt truth. “I miss you, Hutch. I wish I could have gone with you.”

“Then you would have missed Mandy’s company.”

“She would have come by at a later time.”

“Well,” Hutch said, “I’ll see what transpires tomorrow, and if maybe I need to stay another day.” Then he grunted. “It’s funny, that Roy made a point of saying he wasn’t in a hurry for us to make progress on his case, since his father was already gone. But, depending on what happens tomorrow, I could have it wrapped up by the end of the week.”

“I guess it’s really nothing difficult, as for as the mechanics. It all just probably seems really complicated to him, with all the emotion he’s got wrapped up in it.”

“Yeah. What I’d like, more than anything, is to have proof that his father loved him. That his father actually thought a lot of him.”

“Yeah. I guess that would be quite the Christmas present.”


Hutch felt the dryness of the air, despite the overcast clouds, as he moved up the sidewalk to a house which, like many in the area, was devoid of a lawn, but instead was landscaped with rocks, gravel, and cactus. The ranch-style house was two down from the one that was now up for sale, since Roy had said that his mother was moving to Phoenix to be near her family.

Hutch rang the doorbell. After a moment, an white-haired woman appeared, and opened the main door, and said through the screen, “Yes?”

Hutch held up his card. “Mrs. White? I’m a private investigator from California, here about a case. The name of Randolph Larson came up. I know he’s deceased, but the neighbor next door said that you’ve been in this neighborhood a long time, and you probably knew him well.”

“Yes, I knew Randy and his family.” Sadly, she added, “He died so suddenly. Such a shame.”

“Do you mind talking to me?”

Puzzled, she ask, “Is his family in some kind of trouble?”

“No, nothing like that. I can’t reveal my source, or who hired me, but I’m just looking for some basic information. It doesn’t have anything to do with the law, or anything like that.”

“Well, I suppose that’s all right.”

“We can talk out here, on the front patio, if you’re more comfortable. I don’t need to come in.”

Mrs. White hesitated, and then said, “Let me call Beatrice, across the street. She knew the Larsons, too. I’ll see if she can join us.”

“Certainly, that would be wonderful.”

The three of them ended up in Beatrice’s kitchen, where she served tea.

“They were a nice family,” Beatrice said. “There must have been over a hundred people at the funeral.”

Hutch noted, “It’s my understanding that Mr. Larson was involved in school athletics.”

“Oh, yes,” Mrs. White said. “She was my son’s varsity football coach in junior high. They won the championship for their division and went to the state playoffs.”

Forcing his voice to be casual, Hutch asked, “What about his own children?” He had his notepad out.

“They just had the one son,” Beatrice said. “Roy. Nice boy.”

Hutch made a note. “Roy. Was he involved in athletics, as well?”

The two women exchanged glances. Then Mrs. White said, “Somewhat. Not that much though.”

“He played soccer a year or two with my son,” Beatrice said. “I don’t think he ever played football. I guess it was sort of awkward for Randy, to be so good with football team, but his own son didn’t play football.”

“What’s Roy doing now?” Hutch asked, wondering what their perception was of his client.

Mrs. White replied, “Well, I know he graduated from college, here at the University. I don’t recall what his major was.”

“I think it was Engineering,” Beatrice put in. Then she said, “He’d moved out of the house right after high school.”

Carefully, Hutch said, “That seems a little odd, if he was going to college here, to not be living at home.”

Mrs. White said, “Sally — Mrs. Larson — never seemed to want to discuss it, so I didn’t ask questions. But I think Roy and his father didn’t have a good relationship.”

Beatrice quickly put in, “Not that I ever witnessed any bad blood between them. But you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Mr. Larson wasn’t the type of man to show affection. Outwardly, you know.” She glanced at Mrs. White. “Don’t think I ever even saw him put his arm around Sally, or anything like that.”

“No,” Mrs. White agreed.

Hutch considered his next train of thought. “Is there anything else you can tell me about Mr. Larson, outside of athletics? Such has anything else he did for the community?”

“I think he did a lot of nice things,” Beatrice replied, “as far as getting funding for a new athletic track for the high school, and things like that.” She suddenly looked at Mrs. White, “And there was that leukemia child he started a fundraiser for.”

Mrs. White picked up, “Yes. It’s been, gosh, probably at least a decade ago. But there was a newspaper article about a child that couldn’t get the treatment she needed for her leukemia, because the family couldn’t afford it. Mr. Larson donated a lot of money — something like twenty thousand dollars — and then started a fundraiser in town. Then there was another article about how the little girl was getting the necessary care, thanks to the donations.”

“He sounds like a generous, compassionate person,” Hutch said.

“Oh, yes. I think his name was pretty well known through education circles, and with local charities. He’d sometimes get boys from his football teams to mow the lawn for an elderly or disabled person — things like that. He believed in building character in the boys he coached. Athletics weren’t just about winning.”

Hutch hoped he didn’t sound abrupt, when he asked, “Do you think his son was of good character?”

“Certainly,” Beatrice said. “Roy helped me with hanging pictures on the wall, after my husband died, and little things like that. I’m sure his father sent him over here to help. Always was a polite boy. Never involved in any trouble, as far as I knew.”

Mrs. White added, “My son got involved with drugs for a time. But I don’t think Roy was ever involved in anything like that, because he sort of distanced himself from my son, after they’d been good friends as young children. I got the impression that Roy marched to his own drummer. Wasn’t the type to do things just because everyone else did.”

There was an extended silence. Then Beatrice placed her hand on Hutch’s arm. “You know, Mr. Hutchinson, you might go to the auto repair shop on the corner of Inca and Speedway. The man that’s run it for years — “

“Mr. Edison,” Mrs. White put in.

“Yes, Mr. Edison. He gave a eulogy at Mr. Larson’s funeral. He might be able to tell you more about what Randy Larson was like, beyond his involvement in education.”

“Thank you,” Hutch said, flipping his notebook closed. “I’ll do that.”


It didn’t take long for Hutch to find the auto garage on the corner of Speedway Boulevard and Inca Street. Hutch had to kill time at the donut shop next door, before the black-skinned owner of the garage, Kevin Edison, could break away from his work to speak with him. Hutch bought him a coffee at the donut shop, so they could sit down together.

Edison’s eyes brightened as he recalled Randy Larson. “Rand was a good guy. A great friend. I miss him a lot.”

“What can you tell me about his family?”

“His wife was a nice enough lady. Didn’t really see much of her, though. Rand wasn’t much of a home body. Always ought and about. Hung around here a lot. A lot of the players he coached would also hang out around here, since they could look at all the cars. Sometimes help out with simple things, like changing the oil.”

“What do you know about Randy’s children?”

“He had a son, Roy, that went into marine biology.”

Since Edison seemed to want to keep things positive, Hutch pressed, “Do you know what his relationship was like with his son?”

Edison shrugged. “I know Rand was proud of him. You know, would always mention to me when Roy made the Honor Roll, which I think was pretty much all the time. Seemed real proud when Roy graduated college.”

Hutch firmed his jaw, his stomach churning at the information that Roy had never known. “Do you think the son felt likewise about his father?”

Edison’s gaze drifted off to the distance. Then, quietly, “There’s something I’ve always felt guilty about.”

Hutch flipped to a new page on his notepad. “What would that be?”

“When Roy was in junior high, he and some friends were riding their bikes, and came by here, and then got some ice cream next door and were eating their cones while sitting on their bikes. I heard Roy say, ‘I know my father hates me.’ I was working on a car, and I was waiting for one of his friends to say it wasn’t true, but none did. They were quiet, liked they believed that, too. So, I wanted to jump in and say something to Roy that what he thought wasn’t at all true, but told myself that it wasn’t my business. For the next few weeks, whenever I was with Rand, I’d think about telling him what his son said, so he could do something to make Roy realize that he loved him.” Edison shook his head. “But I kept telling myself, once again, that it wasn’t for me to get involved.”

When Edison fell silent, Hutch clarified, “So, you never said anything?”

“Na. But I do remember, after Roy left for a job in California, Rand was telling me about it. Sounding really proud. Then he got quiet and said, ‘I’m not sure I did right by him.’ I said, ‘If you feel that way, it’s not like it’s too late to mend fences.’ Then something happened — two cars collided, right in front of us, and we stopped to help — so the conversation never continued. Sometimes, I’d still think about it — telling Rand what roy said when he was in junior high — but I could never bring myself to get that involved between them.” His eyes darted to Hutch. “Now, it’s too late. And I still wonder if maybe I should have said something.”

Hutch nodded in sympathy, and then asked, “Do you think Randy was lacking as a father?”

“Sometimes I wondered about it. About how he was so involved in the lives of the kids he coached — really cared about them growing up to be good men — but he seemed kind of distant from his own son. Yet, he’d brag on him when Roy wasn’t around. Seemed like he should have been telling Roy that to his face.”


“So,” Hutch concluded in his phone call to Starsky, “there’s a 7:20 flight tonight, so I’ll be able to make that. I’ll write up my reports tomorrow, and then call Roy in.”

“At least, it’s something, Hutch. Good news for him overall, right?”

“I guess. Just wish I had something more concrete — you know, something written down.”

“You’re a witness to what you were told. And you’re writing it up for him. So, you got the best possible information for him.” Starsky’s voice brightened. “Hey, uh, I got a call from your band leader, Clark Taylor.”

“Oh, yeah?” Hutch asked with fondness. He’d had to quit the band last summer, when needing surgery on his shoulder, and hadn’t given any serious thought to re-joining, because he couldn’t imagine taking the time.

“Yeah. He wanted to know if you’d thought about coming back. I told him that your shoulder was doing good, but our business was having a huge growth spurt, and I didn’t think your heart would be in it as much.”

“Yeah. That was fun for the time I did it, but I’m not sure I ever expected it to be a long-time thing. And, you’re right, I don’t think my heart would be in it as much.”

There was a silence, and then Starsky said, “If you call me when you’re on the way home from the airport, I can have a warm bath ready.” His voice lowered. “I’d just like to give you a bath, help you relax… see what happens…”

Hutch felt a flutter in his chest, and some interest farther down.

Starsky continued, “It would just be nice to give my hundred percent attention to you, for a couple of hours or so. Take the phone off the hook…”

“Okay, I’ll call you.” Hutch quickly hung up.


The bath was warm and inviting. Hutch rested against the back of the tub, so that the water was halfway up his chest, his knees bent.

Starsky was in underclothes, and slowly, patiently, rubbed a wash cloth along Hutch’s body, while occasionally applying soap.

Hutch’s eyes had been closed for a while, as he absorbed the sensation of being cared for. Then he opened them, after thoughts of the current case crossed his mind. He waited until Starsky paused to meet his eye. Then he said, “I love you.”

Starsky tilted his head, a smile lighting his mouth corner.

Hutch continued, his voice gruff, “I never want you to question that.”

Starsky looked at him. “I’ve never questioned that. Ever. Not even when…,” he trailed off with a shrug.

Hutch knew he meant the indiscretion with Anne Brookhouse. Now, he felt the need to explain, “When I was asking people about Randy Larson’s family, his wife was brought up a few times, but only to say that he never seemed affectionate toward her. That he was never home much.” Hutch concluded, “Didn’t sound like much of a marriage.” His voice was rough again, as he gazed at Starsky. “I’m such a lucky bastard.”

Starsky smiled enticingly at him. “And about to get luckier.” He leaned toward Hutch, a hand on his lower belly, and kissed him. For a long time.

When Starsky pulled back, he said, “I just want you to relax, and not do anything, while I love you, baby.” He shifted. “Come on, out of the tub.”


It started with a low, patient massage. Hutch lay on his stomach in the middle of the bed, his hips elevated with a firm pillow, drifting in and out of consciousness, while various muscles, mostly on his lower body, were gently rubbed and stimulated. Eventually, that gave way to an occasional kiss on a particular spot. Then long strokes of a tongue.

The kisses were getting more frequent, the tongue strokes shorter and more darting. Hutch knew that any attempts at sleep were over when his buttocks were parted. Moist softness laved around his center, and he quivered. Starsky made noises of approval, and the Hutch felt the wetness assert itself at his opening.

He quivered more, and gasped, aware of his growing erection.

Starsky became more intent, gripping Hutch’s ass more firmly, the tongue darting with greater determination.

“Oh,God,” Hutch cried. “That’s incredible.”

Starsky was relentless. The tongue kept moving, probing, while the noises emerging from Starsky were one of increasing enthusiasm.

There was no way to escape the titillating sensations. Hutch ground against the pillow, as he felt Starsky tongue find its way inside him.

Abruptly, the sensations stopped.

Hutch lay gasping for breath, as gentle kisses were now placed against his hole.

He quivered again when teeth sunk into his flesh. Then he whimpered when he was slowly released.

“Gonna fuck you good and hard, baby. When I’m ready.” Hutch’s cock was gripped in a firm hand. “I want all of this.”

He was turned on his side. A moment later, the head of his shaft was enclosed in wetness.

Fingers were at his opening, and then parted him. More of him was swallowed, as the fingers probed more deeply. The hand on his shaft released him, and was replaced with warm wetness. Then his balls were taken in a firm grip.

In all their years of loving each other, Hutch had never understood how Starsky was able to do this. How Starsky was able to coordinate both hands, and his mouth, so that Hutch was swallowed, while his prostate was stimulated, and his balls were massaged with just the right amount of pressure. A “triple whammy”, Starsky called it.

Hutch only knew that the combination of sensations was beyond description. He rode the wave of intense building pleasure, in a room filled with expectant silence, beyond his brief whimpers of disbelief, and Starsky’s grunts of satisfaction.

The inserted fingers stroked him in just the right way, and the trigger was pulled. Hutch cried out as an all-encompassing ecstasy engulfed him, so that he didn’t know where his physical body ended and temporary death began.

He gradually came back to himself, aware of his back being gently rubbed. Then a whisper. “Love loving you so much, baby.”

He could only continue to gasp for breath.

After a few moments, Starsky pulled at his hips. “Just need you to raise up a bit, so I can fuck you the way I need to, baby.”

There was nothing he would not do for Starsky. Hutch released a final, heavy breath, and moved to get on all fours.


In his office, with the door closed, Hutch stared at the wall. He could still feel, from a few nights ago, Starsky’s lips and fingers loving him so intently. After so many months of recovery from various illness and injuries, including taking various medications, to say nothing of simply living their busy lives, an intense, fully focused sex session had seemed like a distant memory. Now, it was back to being back in his conscious mind — a reminder of how deeply and thoroughly he was loved.

Hutch’s phone beeped. “Ken? Roy Larson is here.”

“Show him in.” Hutch turned to grab the manila envelope that he’d prepared. Now, he was going to talk to someone who had never known the love that he himself was so fortunate to experience on a day to day basis.

After they were seated at the round conference table, Hutch pulled out the contents of the envelope. “My trip to Tucson last week was worthwhile. Quite a few people were eager to talk about your father.” He fanned out the papers, “All of these are my reports, summarizing what each person said. You can read them at your leisure, but I’ll point out the major things now.”

He waited until Roy glanced up from the papers to look at him. “The main theme was how much your father gave to the community, including a handful of specific situations where he helped out individuals. There were also a lot of mentions about how important it was to him that the kids he coached weren’t just good athletes, but contributing members of society in general.”

Roy’s mouth corner twitched. “I knew he gave stuff, but… I just never realized the extent it was. How much it affected individual people. You know, I remember him once writing a hundred dollar check to the Red Cross, and I thought he was just doing it because it was a tax deduction. I specifically remember him saying that it was tax deductible.”

Quietly, Hutch agreed, “He certainly didn’t wear his heart on his sleeve.” He shifted with discomfort. “Uh, Roy, I didn’t reveal who had hired me, or why I was asking questions. But I did, as casually as I could, ask everyone about Randy’s family. They all mentioned you, of course. Everyone spoke of you in a positive way.” He swallowed thickly. “There also was a subtle current of discomfort, concerning your father’s relationship with you. So, if it makes you feel better, it certainly wasn’t your imagination that your father was distant from you. That was verified by pretty much everyone I had a substantial conversation with.”

Larson nodded stiffly.

“But also,” Hutch went on, “I had a long conversation with that auto mechanic, Kevin Edison.”

Larson said congenially, “He was probably my father’s best friend. He’s a good guy.”

Hutch shifted again. “Yeah, well, he told me some things that I think you’d be surprised to know. He said that your father would speak of you, with pride, about being on the Honor Roll and things like that. And when you graduated from college.”

Roy firmed his jaw, and emitted a harsh snort.

“I’m sure that seems unbelievable to you, but Edison wouldn’t have had any reason to exaggerate, since he didn’t know I was acting on your behalf. Also, he said that, after you moved out this way, your father mentioned to him that he, and I quote, ‘wasn’t sure he had done right by you.’”

Roy stared at the table top.

Carefully, Hutch went on, “Edison often wanted to talk to your father about his relationship with you, but he didn’t feel it was his place to interfere. He overheard you saying, when you were in junior high, that your father hated you. To this day, he feels guilty that he never brought that up to Randy.”

Roy looked away. “I’m not sure what to make up this.”

“I know that it’s a lot to take in.” Hutch gathered up the papers. “And I know that, with your father gone, there’s no way to know anything with absolute certainty.” He placed the papers back in the envelope. “I also know that there are a lot of sons that question the feelings, or lack of such, of their fathers. Likely, your father was treated that way by his own father.” Hutch pressed the metal clasp down on the flap of the envelope. “I guess, the only thing one can do, is decide that, if they have a son, they’ll break the pattern of outward indifference.” He relented, “I suppose that’s easier said than done.”

Roy drew a breath. “I’ve never wanted children. I’ve never felt that I have what it takes to be a good father. I mean, if I do everything the opposite of what my own father did, then that wouldn’t be any good, either, considering all the players he coached who admired him.”

Hutch managed a smile. “Surely, there’s a happy medium in there, somewhere.”

“Well,” Larson gave a rye smile back, “I’d have to find a wife first. I’m so busy at work, that there doesn’t seem to be much time for dating.”

Hutch pushed the envelope toward him. “Wife or not, what I suggest, if you go through life feeling — justifiably so — that you got a raw deal in the father department, is that you surround yourself with people who recognize your good qualities, and are on your side. Filling your life with those who care about you can go a long way toward healing the hole left by not having had a supportive parent.”

Larson took the envelope and rose from his chair. “Thanks.”


Hutch stood in Barb’s Book Nook, gazing at Christmas decorations on the wall. Barb Olson, an elderly ex-librarian, had felt that having Starsky available for book signings would be best the week before Christmas, when there would still be many shoppers looking for gifts.

Flyers had been posted around the shopping area and immediate neighborhoods, advertising that Starsky would be there between twelve and two, hoping to catch those dropping in on their lunch hour. Indeed, when Barb sat Starsky at a table, with a stack of The Story of Us, there had been a line of seven or eight people, eager to meet an author in person. But as time wore on, the line had disappeared, and Starsky was signing a book about every ten minutes. Hutch doubted if as many as twenty-five books had been sold.

Still, the fact was the sales had been increasing, however slowly, over the months since the book had been published.

“Here’s your root beer.” Hutch turned to see Barb place a soda can next to Starsky.

“Terrific, thanks,” Starsky replied.

They all looked up when the bell over the door chimed, and a thirtyish woman with long dark hair walked in. She immediately started to browse the first group of shelves, as though determined to not be noticed.

After a few moments, Barb moved near her. “Can I help you find anything?”

The woman quickly shook her heard. “No, just looking.”

“Just so you’re aware, we have a new local author here, in David Starsky, if you’re interested.”

“Thanks,” the woman muttered, refusing to look up from the shelf.

Hutch felt bad for the woman. He knew that Barb was just trying to be a good marketing agent, but he could imagine how a person might not appreciate having something pointed out to them that they just plain weren’t interested in.

Starsky glanced beneath the table. “At least, we’ve sold more than half the box.” His gaze moved to Hutch. “That’s something, huh?”

“Yeah.” Then Hutch considered, “I should probably be doing some Christmas shopping. There’s some interesting shops around here.”

Starsky shrugged. “Fine with me. Go ahead.”

As Hutch started to move off, the new customer walked up to the table, as though deciding she couldn’t avoid it without appearing rude, and picked up the top book from the stack. “What is this?”

Starsky had his standard reply down. “It’s the story of an unconventional relationship. My partner and I were cops — detectives — and it has a lot of stories from our partnership, and how we grew closer and closer.”

She studied the front cover and then turned it over. Puzzled, she asked, “You mean you’re gay?”

“Yep.” They had learned that sticking to simple answers worked best, most of the time.

Still, Hutch decided to put in, “Eventually, we were. We weren’t in that kind of relationship until we were retired from the Department.”

She looked up at Hutch, as though noticing him for the first time. And then she glanced back at the book’s cover, which had a picture of them both on top of the Torino, their arms around each other’s shoulders. “Oh.” She seemed embarrassed as she put the book back down. “Not my cup of tea.” She quickly moved away and left the store.

Starsky looked up at Hutch and shrugged. There had been a few similar reactions.

The bell over the door chimed, and the woman reappeared. She quickly moved to the table and picked up the book. “I just realized that this would be a good gift for somebody I know. She ‘loves everybody’,” her fingers formed quote marks, “and she’s a collector, so she’d appreciate having a copy that’s autographed.” She placed the book before Starsky. “Her name is Beth.”

Hutch noticed the woman’s personalized key chain. It said “Beth”. It was tempting to comment on her and her friend having the same name, but he figured that the woman was embarrassed enough.

The door’s bell rang again.

“Oh!” A high-pitched male voice declared, “there isn’t a line!”

Hutch looked up as a matching voice excitedly said, “Both of them are here!”

“There you go.” Starsky pushed the autographed book at Beth.

“Thank you.” She picked it up and quickly moved past the two new customers.

They both projected GAY, in every stereotypical way. Hutch found himself wondering which was the husband of the pair, and then scolded himself for thought.

“Hi fellas,” Starsky greeted.

“Oh,” one of the partners grabbed a book. “I don’t know how many to get.”

Starsky assured, “We’ve got more in the box.”

Barb appeared. “Hi, Leif. Hi, Penelope.”

Leif handed her a camera. “Please? Can we get a picture of both of us with these gorgeous gentlemen?”

“Sure,” Starsky said, looking at Hutch, and standing

Anything to help sales. Hutch moved to stand near Starsky.

A man stood to each of their sides, while Barb stepped back with the camera to her eye. She gestured with a hand, “You all need to move closer together.”

“Most certainly,” Leif said excitedly, his hip pressing against Hutch’s.

The flash went off. “There you go.”

As they separated, Hutch asked curiously, “You’ve read the book?”

Penelope waived a hand. “Of course, we have. Lots of people we know have. Now, officially,” he wagged a finger, “gay society is rather unhappy with it.”

Leif clarified, “You’re not exactly parading out the glories of a gay life style.”

Penelope went on, “But many of the people we know admit, in private, that they find your relationship adorable.” He reached to grab a handful of books from the table. “I want to make sure that everyone I know has an autographed copy, even if they say they aren’t interested in reading it.”

Starsky uncapped his felt pen, as he sat down. “Then let me get started.”


After they left Barb’s Book Nook, an hour later, Starsky said, “That’s good to know, huh? That gays like the book in private, even if they can’t admit it in public?”

“Sure. Sales are sales.”

“Yeah. We almost emptied the box.”

“Remember that lady who left, and then came back and said she wanted to buy a copy for her friend?”


“She lied. It was for her. She said her friend’s name was Beth, and her key chain was there on the table, and it said ‘Beth’.”

“Huh. I guess she was embarrassed about wanting a copy. I guess that’s understandable. Not everyone can handle other people knowing that they’re reading a book about a gay relationship.” Starsky chuckled. “Those gay guys were a bit much. But at least they were enthused.” He snickered. “We’re adorable.”

Hutch gave him a long-suffering look. “Oh, please.”

Starsky laughed again. “Maybe that should have been the subtitle. ‘The story of an incredibly adorable partnership.’”

Hutch found himself chuckling softly. He’d certainly never expected them to be characterized as such.

After a moment, Starsky said, “I guess you never got a chance to go Christmas shopping.”

“Wasn’t in the mood, anyway,” Hutch admitted.

Starsky snorted. “Are you ever?”


At the office, they had a skeleton crew working December 29th, after the four-day holiday weekend.

The phone rang, and Hutch answered it, since Lois was taking a two-week vacation. “Starsky and Hutchinson.”

“This sounds like Hutch.”

“It is.”

“This is Tom Placing. Where’s you partner?”

Hutch put his hand over the receiver and called to the door separating his office from Starsky’s. “Starsk! It’s Tom Placing.” He said into the receiver, “I’m putting you on the speaker phone.”

Starsky came into the Hutch’s office. “What’s up?”

Placing replied, “I’ve got a little Christmas present for you, I think. We had thought the building couldn’t close before early February. Well, everyone involved wants their commission ASAP, and that means that the closing date needs to be before the end of January. So, it looks like all the paperwork is in line, and the closing has been scheduled with the title company for Thursday, January 29th, at ten in the morning.”

Starsky and Hutch looked at each other.

“Oh, man,” Starsky said, “that’s incredible.”

Hutch felt the same excitement — as well as the weight of the financial responsibility.

Placing went on, “There’s still the final inspection to be done, but there isn’t any reason to think there will be anything new that didn’t show up on the preliminary inspection.”

Starsky said, “Yeah, we know we have to have fire extinguishers in place, and all that.”

“We’ll have to put on a new roof,” Hutch reminded, since it needed replacing.

“As soon as it passes that inspection,” Placing continued, “we’ll be all set. I’ve confirmed with the loan company that they’ll have cashier’s check available on that day for the purchase price. So, you two will just need to show up and sign a bunch of papers.”

Hutch said, “That’s a heck of a present. Thanks so much, Tom.”

“Yeah, Merry Christmas,” Starsky said. “This is fantastic.”

“Happy New Year to you both. I’ll be there at the closing.”

“Appreciate it. Thanks.”

“Thanks, Tom,” Hutch said, and cut the line. He looked at Starsky. “A month from now, we’ll be in debt for the rest of our lives.” He really didn’t think his tone was negative, but more factual.

“Maybe, maybe not,” Starsky replied. “We never seem to have trouble keeping everybody busy, so maybe we’ll be able to pay all the stuff off faster than we think. Like we did our house.”

“That was mainly because of Darla,” Hutch reminded.

“And now we’ve got Danny and Bri.”

Hutch didn’t bother pointing out, yet again, that no one could yet know how well either might turn out, in their careers as racehorses.

Starsky said, “We’re gonna have to start making plans for moving. Maybe we can get the current owner to let us in, so we can plan where we’re going to put things, and who gets what office, and all that.”

Hutch nodded. “I’m sure he’ll be agreeable to whatever keeps the sale moving toward the closing date.”

Starsky pushed Hutch’s partially open office door so that it closed completely. Then he moved to Hutch and slid his arms around his neck. He whispered enticingly, “I think we should celebrate tonight.”

Hutch kissed him.



Comments to or post here


Main Menu Starsky & Hutch Menu Adventure Menu