(c) March 2016 by Charlotte Frost


A sequel to Root Canal


Hutch's cheek rested against the soft skin of Starsky's inner thigh. In the laziness of a Sunday morning in February, he reached out to brush his finger against the shrinking, sated flesh he'd just pleasured.

Starsky grunted, his other leg shifting against the water bed, bending more at the knee. "Easy."

Hutch could appreciate how sensitive it felt there, so let his finger brush along the scrotal pouch that was making small motions of shifting and moving. He swallowed lingering remains of seminal flavor.

Starsky muttered, "I have a feeling you're wanting me to do a round two."

Hutch could take his turn, since he'd pleasured Starsky first, but he wasn't so eager that he couldn't wait for his love to be an active participant. "Not in any hurry." He pressed his lips against Starsky's thigh.

A hand reached to brush along Hutch's cheek. "Remember when we could do it, like, six times a day? We'd go a whole day without even getting out of bed."

Hutch grunted. They had been worse than rabbits, in those early months.

"I remember," Starsky went on, "banging you multiple times in one session, without even withdrawing."

Hutch remembered such, as well.

Then, pitifully, "Ah, to be young again."

Hutch deadpanned, "We would have killed each other, if we'd kept up that pace. Died from an overdose of lust."

Starsky fell silent. Then, "Man, I can't believe I'm going to be forty-three next month. Doesn't it seem like we just turned forty the other day?"

Hutch grunted, not seeing the point of belaboring something they couldn't control.

"Time goes by so fast," Starsky muttered.

Hutch took his opportunity. "All the more reason to appreciate every moment." He kissed Starsky's thigh again.

A hand settled on Hutch's head. With affection, Starsky noted, "You're still a good time."

Hutch smiled, but quipped, "You say that like you think there will come a time when I won't be."

"Yeah, well, I probably won't be then, either. So, we'll still be banging each other when we have pot bellies and sagging asses, because no one else will want us, anyway."

Hutch was barely listening, because he was more interested in outlining Starsky's scrotum with a finger. He then used a pair of fingertips to stroke along the soft, uniquely-textured skin.

"Mm. You aren't going to let me take a nap, are you?"

"You can," Hutch said softly. Then, as his fingers continued to stroke, "Unless this bothers you."

"It's bothering me, all right."

Indeed, Hutch noted the slight shifting of the sated flesh. As a threat, he said "I intend to make you lose interest in a nap, shortly."

Starsky grunted. "I have a feeling that I'm soon going to subjected to some enthusiastic Hutchinson tongue."

Hutch shifted and reached to grab his love by the hips. "Time to get you ready for a good fucking."


Starsky was up first, after a half hour nap. He pulled on jeans, and tugged down his t-shirt. He was in the process of buttoning a flannel shirt when the door bell rang.

Hutch grunted from where he still lay in bed.

"I'll see who it is," Starsky said, and moved down the hall. He was rolling back the cuffs of his sleeves when he looked out the peephole of the front door. A well-groomed elderly lady stood on the porch, with something in her hand.

If she was here to convert him to her religion, he decided that, after the morning's activities, he didn't feel assertive enough to be rude. While opening the door, he wondered how quickly he could politely convince her to leave.

"Good morning," she greeted with a smile. She held out a flat brown padded package. "I'm Mrs. Florence, and live a few houses down." She gestured. "I'm so sorry if you've been waiting for this. The UPS driver needed someone to sign for it a couple of weeks ago. I rang your door a few times, but no one was home. Then I forgot about it and went on vacation. I'm sorry this is so late getting to you."

"Oh, no problem," Starsky opened the door and reached for the package. "We're busy with our jobs, so we're not always home. Thanks very much."

"Have a good day." She turned away.

Starsky looked at the package, where their address was in a bold, masculine script, with both his and Hutch's names.

Hutch arrived in a robe and fresh underwear. "Who was that?"

Starsky glanced at the return address before tearing open the package. "Neighbor that signed for this before she went on vacation. It's from Daniel Wildenstein."

Hutch was silent as the packaging fell away. Starsky found himself holding hard-bound book. The cover was dark, with faint images of the Loch Ness monster, Big Foot, and, Starsky gasped, an alien.

Hutch stepped forward and touched the cover. In a hushed voice, he said, "His book."

Starsky felt his heart begin to pound, as he opened the cover that read, An Objective Look at the Unexplained. By Daniel Wildenstein. On the inside cover, there was a handwritten note, and he held the book up so that Hutch could see.

Ken and Dave,

Thank you so much for sharing your fascinating story with me, so it could be a part of this book. I hope you'll agree that I've treated your encounter with respect and fairness, and have attempted to consider all angles, in the search for an explanation.

All the best for a happy and successful 1986.


Starsky released a breath and quickly turned pages until he came to the Table of Contents. He ran his finger down the topics, until he came to the last chapter, A UFO Encounter and Spontaneous Healing.

Abruptly, Starsky handed the book to Hutch. "I don't think I can deal with this right now." He turned to the kitchen.

Hutch followed, his voice quiet. "I'd forgotten that it got published last month."

"So did I." Starsky turned to look at him, hoping his expression showed that he didn't appreciate being reminded. He reached into the refrigerator and pulled out a carton of orange juice.

"I'll take some of that," Hutch said, sitting down with the book. He leafed through pages. "It looks like he transcribed your entire session with the hypnotist."

Starsky released another breath, as he placed glasses of juice on the table. After sitting opposite Hutch, he said, "I hope he remembered to change our names."

Hutch's mouth corner twitched. "We're Seth and Gregory."

"Who's who?"

Hutch looked up. "Does it matter?" He picked up the glass and took a large swallow.

Starsky couldn't restrain a smile. "Well, I guess it's out there. Whoever has been buying it the past few weeks knows there's some guys named Seth and Gregory that had a strange encounter."

While Starsky drank his juice, Hutch browsed through more pages. "Are you really not interested in knowing what he wrote?"

Starsky muttered, "Just not in the mood to go back to that whole thing."

Hutch closed the book. "We have to know what it says, at least by the time your book is published."

Supposedly, that was still on track to happen in June.

Hutch continued, "And then we'll be able to determine if we want to tell certain trusted people about this book, or if we'll just leave well enough alone."

That was a decision that needed to be made, but June was five months away. Curiously, Starsky asked, "You want to read it now?" He was surprised that Hutch was interested.

Hutch shrugged. "Yeah. I'd like to know how he spins it. How it comes across to other people." Then he offered, "How about if I read it to you?" He nodded to the living room.

Starsky knew he was going to have to face the chapter at some point. "Yeah, I guess." They each grabbed their juice as they stood.

When they approached the sofa, Starsky wondered if he was deliberating distancing himself, when he said, "I'll rub your feet while you read. That might be the only part of you that didn't get any attention this morning." He placed himself at one end of the sofa.

Hutch smiled warmly as he placed his juice on the coffee table, and then lay back against the other arm. He reached behind him to turn on the lamp, since they still had the curtains drawn over the sliding glass patio door. He then settled his feet in Starsky's lap and opened the book.

A UFO Encounter and Spontaneous Healing

When I got the idea for this book, I wanted it to include a chapter on a relatively recent UFO encounter, and a chapter on a relatively recent spontaneous healing. I never expected to find both in a single case study. Seth and Gregory are pseudonyms for two gentleman who have successful, professional careers, and do not want their identity known. I've also changed the name of Gregory's doctor, who dealt with the spontaneous healing incident, but wasn't told about the alien abduction portion of Gregory's history.

Seth and Gregory met in the sixties at the police academy near a large California city. Gregory was from a middle class east coast family, the son of a policeman, and Seth was from an upper middle class family in the Midwest, and they became fast friends. They joined the same police force and where both dedicated to their jobs. They moved through the ranks quickly, and became detectives that were partnered together by the time they were thirty. The danger of the streets, and the resulting numerous hardships, bonded them "more closely than brothers". The price for success on the job, however, was high, with numerous injuries and threats to loved ones. Each lost a girlfriend to murder, due to her liaisons with them. In 1979, Gregory was the victim of an assassination attempt, and was shot multiple times. He wasn't expected to survive.

Neither Seth nor Gregory had family in the area, so they were each other's most dependable caretaker. Gregory did survive the assassination attempt, but when well on the way to recovery, he and Seth were at a circus when Gregory was bitten by a monkey. While the bite itself was mild, it infected Gregory with something known as a Herpes-B virus. Unlike the commonly known strain of Herpes, this particular virus attacked all systems in the body. Once again, Gregory wasn't expected to live. Once again, he somehow managed to pull through. However, his doctor, whom we'll call Dr. Wilson, pointed out that while the virus was in remission, it was still in his bloodstream. At any time, it could attack Gregory system once again. There wasn't a cure. Gregory and Seth decided to go on with their lives as best they could. When Gregory was finally recovered enough to leave the hospital, he and Seth decided to take a vacation to the mid Atlantic coast, to discuss their futures, since continuing their prior careers as detectives was an unlikely option.

While on that vacation, they began a homosexual relationship, thereby cementing their intent to always remain in each other's lives. One evening, while traveling, they exited the highway to get gas. They took a wrong turn and found themselves in a forest. Gregory noticed a light, which he assumed was a low-flying airplane. They were later to realize that they didn't recall anything further about that evening, except finally arriving at a motel in a college town, and being unusually tired. Gregory did note that his watched showed that it was 1:30 AM, which explained their fatigue, but it didn't occur to him that they should have reached that town hours earlier.

Within a few days, during their intimate relations, they noticed anal bruising that they described as painless, and which they were certain couldn't be explained by their sexual activities. Seth also began to have a recurring nightmare, and Gregory heard him talking in his sleep. Each time Seth had the nightmare, he repeated the same statements, pleading and begging for Gregory to not be hurt, since Gregory had recently been sick. Gregory had an odd impression that he should know what Seth's dreams were referring to, but he lacked a conscious explanation, just as Seth did. Seth did relay that he was lying on some kind of table in his dreams, and he was extremely worried about Gregory's safety. Beyond that, he didn't remember anything about the dreams.

In discussing the oddness of Seth's nightmares, and Gregory having the feeling he should know their content, as well, coupled with the puzzling anal bruising, they began to realize, that for a prior evening, they couldn't account for a few hours of missing time. It distressed them so much, to have no explanation, that they decided to end their vacation and return to California with the intent to start a new profession. While waiting to go to their airport for their flight, they came upon an outdoor book sale. There, Seth found the book "Alien Encounters" by Professor Sydney Von Glick. He was greatly disturbed by it, because it reminded him of his nightmares. Anal probes mentioned in the book also seemed a possible explanation for the bruising. They both were "freaked out" somewhat, at the idea of being victims of an alien encounter. They were able, that very night, to contact Professor Von Glick, and meet with him.

Professor Von Glick has a recording of that interview. He felt their encounter was "unremarkable", considering the lack of impartial evidence that anything out of the ordinary had happened to Seth and Gregory. However, he does now recall, six years later, how distressed Seth and Gregory were at the idea of being abducted by aliens, and regretted that he couldn't assure them that such didn't happen.

Upon returning home, Seth became concerned that, whatever had happened that night of missing time, it might bring Gregory's Herpes B virus out of remission. Though Gregory insisted that he physically felt better than he had in a long time, he agreed to see Dr. Wilson, who took a blood sample, while declaring him to be in good health. A few days later, a phone call informed Gregory that he needed to come in for another sample, as the first had been lost. He agreed, and a few days after that, was told to come to Dr. Wilson's office to speak with him. Since patients aren't called about lab tests that turn out to be normal, both Seth and Gregory feared they would get news that the Herpes B virus was again attacking Gregory's system.

On the contrary, the appointment with Dr. Wilson resulted in the best possible news, however puzzling. Not only was the Herpes B virus still in remission, but it had inexplicably disappeared completely. That was why Dr. Wilson had needed a second blood sample, because the first was so unbelievable, indicating that there must have been a mix-up at the lab. Normally, Gregory's blood should have antibodies for the virus. Instead, his blood was completely clear -- as thought he had never had the Herpes B virus at all. Dr. Wilson told Gregory, "I'd really love to know if anything has happened lately that could somehow explain this." It was only then that it occurred to Seth and Gregory both that the alien encounter was the only possible explanation -- or, more correctly, the impossible explaining the impossible. However, neither chose to share such with Dr. Wilson, for fear of not being taken seriously.

With the cloud no longer over their lives, of wondering if and when the Herpes B virus would strike again, Seth and Gregory made plans for their future, and starting their new professions. One night, Gregory had some sort of nightmare similar to the ones Seth had had. He realized he desperately wanted to know what had happened to them the night of "missing time", and wanted them to see a hypnotist. Seth was skeptical of hypnotism, but agreed to accompany Seth on a session. They called Professor Von Glick for a referral in their area.

Below is a word-for-word transcript of that session, from a recording the hypnotist gave to them. Only their names have been changed.

Hutch paused to reach for his glass of orange juice.

"You don't need to read all that," Starsky said. "I still remember most of it, I think."

"Yeah," Hutch said solemnly, putting the glass down, "so do I."

Starsky continued to rub Hutch's feet, as Hutch rifled through a few pages. "So far, he's pretty much just stuck to facts."

"Yeah." Hutch began to read further.

The "fixing" of Gregory's blood is something that can't be explained by medical science. It's not the only time some sort of healing has been associated with an alien encounter. The problem with such reported incidents is that the fact of the subject's medical reports, before and after the healing, can be confirmed, while the alien encounter cannot. In this case, one can only rely on the accuracy of the subjects' detailing of their dreams, as well as the hypnosis session.

Outright fabrication aside, I approached various professionals, including recognized UFO scholars, with this case and asked for their theories as to whether such an alien encounter was possible and, if not, what would account for the dreams and the statements made in the hypnotist's office.

I have brought up the fact of Seth and Gregory being in a homosexual relationship for two reasons. The first is that it easily explains the anal bruising -- something agreed upon by nearly everyone who read their case -- even though the subjects deny such. The second is because of a theory presented by psychiatrist Cyndy B. Dawson, who has been practicing in Chicago for over twenty years. She said, "I would have to know much more of their history to make any definitive statements. Given that, the small amount of information leads me to wonder if they have such guilt about their homosexuality, that it caused a dual hallucination. They both apparently repressed their homosexuality until their mid thirties. Prior girlfriends have been mentioned who were murdered, and it's likely there was a 'macho' component of their profession in law enforcement. Their subconscious created an alien encounter to alleviate their mutual guilt. Gregory was cured and all was made better. In essence, an 'alien counter', and the result of it, gave them permission to continue with their relationship, free of guilt."

Starsky groaned. "Nothing quite like being evaluated by someone who doesn't know what the hell she's talking about." The one thing he knew for certain is that he'd never felt guilty about loving Hutch.

"Yeah," Hutch agreed dryly. He then continued to read.

Their relationship was also the focus of Marvin L. Panner, who has doctorates in both psychology and sociology. He stated, "Gregory's life was in danger, though they didn't know specifically if and when his health would next reach a crisis point. If they were 'closer than brothers' throughout the years of their profession in law enforcement, then surely such a prospect of Gregory's early demise was unbearable to both. There are many examples, in history, of a person wanting something so badly, that he or she is able to create the wanted thing or situation. For example, a husband is changing a tire on his car, and the car falls on him, and the wife -- a very ordinary woman -- is able to find the strength to lift the car and free him. Extraordinary circumstances can sometimes result in extraordinary human feats. Such may be the case with this particular situation of spontaneous healing. Both Seth and Gregory very much wanted Gregory to return to full health. Seth, in particular, was in great fear of losing Gregory. They wanted it so very much, that it happened. Yet, such a feat can't be explained in a physically-oriented society, so their subconscious mutually created the hallucination of an alien encounter -- or, perhaps, Seth's subconscious created it, and Gregory's subconscious picked up on it, because of the things Seth said while dreaming -- as a way of explaining the impossible."

Hutch furrowed his brow and looked over the top of the book. "What do you think of that idea?"

Starsky's throat felt heavy. "Either way you look at it, it was your love for me -- your concern for me -- that resulted in me being cured. I just can't, you know, believe that my subconscious made up all those details that came out in the hypnosis session. Beside, we didn't know I was even cured until after the whole thing with 'missing time' happened. I mean, these people are grasping at straws. They don't know us at all." He shrugged, relenting, "I guess they really can't, unless they were to read my book, and that's not even out yet."


"What else are people saying?"

Hutch turned back to the book. He started to read, and then said, "There's a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo, like Von Glick told us about -- you know, somehow the brain getting stimulated and 'experiencing' something as though it's happening, when it really isn't."

Starsky thought back. "Like, a person suddenly smelling oranges, even though there aren't any oranges around."

"Yeah." Hutch slowly turned another page. "And then more psychological mumbo jumbo, about how there's been enough UFO encounter incidents floating around, that it's easy for one's subconscious to 'invent' those details, even when we say we weren't consciously aware of UFO-related situations before -- at least, not the fine details." Hutch turned another page and browsed a moment. Then, "Listen to this." 

Finally, what would a UFO chapter be without government conspiracy theories?

Alan Telluride is recognized for his efforts to debunk all supposed encounters with aliens. He admits to believing that many who claim to be the subject of such are telling the truth, but they have no way of understanding what actually happened to them. Telluride is a proponent that all flying saucers and related vehicles aren't from outer space -- but are, in fact, from secret military bases located in various regions of the globe. The government is conducting experiments on human beings, and they manipulate the brain, so that those abducted believe they are seeing aliens. He sees no reason to believe that Seth and Gregory's encounter is any different. When I asked him why the government would be able to cure the Herpes B virus, but not make that cure available to the public at large, he said, "Who knows why the government does anything that it does. It functions for its own survival -- not the public good."

Hutch muttered, "And I thought I was a skeptic about the government."

Starsky snorted.

Hutch turned another page and was silent a moment. “Then there’s quotes from various doctors, trying to describe scientific reasons for spontaneous cures and remission.” He turned more pages

“I doubt any of it applies to my situation.” Starsky was certain of that. “Can’t believe I would have been cured, without whatever happened happening that one night.”

“Yeah,” Hutch agreed softly. Then, “Here’s the last page.”

As with the prior chapters, I haven't made any attempt to draw conclusions, but instead leave that to the reader. What I can say is that I have met Seth and Gregory, and find them both to be ordinary, hard working, well adjusted professional individuals, who don't seem at all prone to flights of fancy. They claim to have put the encounter behind them, because they themselves admit that they don't understand what happened to them, and don't ever expect to. But they are extremely grateful for the outcome -- that of the Herpes B virus disappearing from Gregory's blood stream. It's interesting to note that they don't go out of their way to hide their homosexual relationship; yet, they have shared their alien encounter with only a very small number of people, for fear of ridicule.

Hutch closed the book, looking up. "I guess that is ironic, isn't it? I've never thought of it that way -- that both situations in our lives are prone to ridicule, but we don't worry much about others knowing we're in a relationship together."

Starsky snorted with shrug. "Homosexuality makes people immoral, in people's eyes, not kooks, like being hijacked by a UFO does."

Hutch released a heavy sigh. "So, what do you think?" He stretched to place the book on the coffee table.

Starsky shrugged again. "I don't have any problem with how he handled it."

Subdued, Hutch asked, "What about other people knowing it's us?"

"I don't know. I guess I'd still rather that people didn't, all in all."

"Yeah," Hutch agreed softly. Then, "Yet, if we up and got killed in a car crash -- even if your book was out, nobody would know about that one thing that happened, in that chapter." He presented a wry smile. "I guess a part of me wants our story -- all of our story -- known in some way."

Starsky pushed Hutch's feet away, and stood, stretching elaborately. "Well, we still have a few months to think about it. And that's even assuming that my book is really getting published in June."

Hutch sat up. "I guess we haven't heard anything from Milton in a while, huh?"

"Yeah. Don't know if that's good news or bad news." Starsky looked at the clock. Their Sunday was getting away from them. "I need to take my car in for a tune-up."


Starsky was back after a couple of hours, to find Hutch vacuuming the living room.

He waited until Hutch turned the vacuum off a few moments later, before grumbling, "That tune-up turned into a two hundred and forty dollar repair job."


"Needed new spark plugs and some other things." Starsky noticed that Hutch had piled recent magazines on the coffee table, next to Wildenstein's book, and he picked up the Sports Illustrated on top.

The door bell rang, and he muttered, "Grand Central station," while turning to the kitchen.

"I bet that's Lannie," Hutch said, following him through the kitchen, and into the foyer.

"Forgot she was coming."

She had called last night to say she would be dropping by, while out on errands, to pick up some paperwork on an ancestry case, for Nick. As Starsky wondered where he'd put that paperwork, he opened the door.

Lannie stood in jeans and a turtleneck, with a windbreaker.

Starsky quipped, "You’re trusting Nick with Melinda?" He stepped back to let her enter.

"For up to a couple of hours or so," she replied, looking at her watch. "I'm about a half hour past."

Hutch asked Starsky, "Where's the stuff?"

"Not sure where I put it," Starsky replied, turning back to the kitchen.

"Come on in," Hutch prompted Lannie, following. "I vacuumed."

"Did you see the file?" Starsky asked hopefully over his shoulder, "while you were cleaning?"


That was no help. Starsky moved into the living room, aware of the others following, and went to the bookcases in the corner, near the sliding glass door, though he didn’t recall being in that area of the house recently.

Hutch said, "Maybe you left it in your car?"

"Don't think so," Starsky muttered.

"I'll look," Hutch said with a sigh, and there was sound of keys.

"It's got to be here somewhere," Starsky said, his back to Lannie. "I'm sure I brought the file and other stuff into the house on Friday night." He looked along the shelves, most of which had room in front of the books to lay papers and various "don't throw away yet" items.

"What's this?"

Starsky glanced back over his shoulder. His heart beat rapidly his chest, as he saw Lanette standing next to the coffee table, holding Wildenstein's book.

"You guys into this stuff?" she asked with obvious disapproval, while looking at the cover.

"Uh..." Starsky's heart beat even faster as she opened the cover.

There was the sound of the door to the garage slamming. Then, "Dummy, it was all on top of the trash can in the garage." As Hutch came into the living room, a file and papers in his hand, he paused, his expression similar to what Starsky was feeling.

Lanette looked up. "Why is he thanking you for telling your story for this book? I thought you were publishing your own book."

Starsky exchanged a glance with Hutch, whose startled expression and trepidation matched his own.

She looked from one to the other, her voice uneasy. “What’s wrong?” She quickly put the book down. “I guess I was snooping without meaning to.”

“It’s all right,” Hutch said abruptly, coming toward her. “I guess, in a way,” his glance included Starsky, “you’ve solved our problem for us.”

“What problem? I don’t understand….”

Starsky released a breath, realizing it would be pointless to attempt a lie. Slowly, he said, “For my book, there was a chapter that our agent, and another professional, said couldn’t be included, because people would find it so unbelievable that it would invalidate all the other chapters. So, we agreed to take it out.”

Hutch said, “But our agent was working with another author, Daniel Wildenstein,” he nodded at the book, “who specializes in unexplained phenomenon. And Wildenstein wanted to include our chapter in his book, using aliases in place of our real names, so nobody would know it was us, unless we decided to tell them.”

Lanette seemed perplexed as she gazed down at the book’s cover. Then she looked up. “You mean, you guys were, like, abducted by a family of Big Foots, or something?” Her voice was incredulous.

“Not exactly,” Starsky hedged.

Hutch reached to the coffee table and picked up the book. He held it out to her. “Read the last chapter. There’s two guys named Seth and Gregory. That’s really us.”

Her mouth fell open. “Who else knows about this?”

“Almost nobody,” Starsky said. “Our agent. Obviously, Daniel Wildenstein.”

Gently, Hutch said, “Dad knew. We let him read all of Starsky’s book, and the original manuscript included that chapter.”

Suspiciously, she asked, “Does Nick know something about this?”

“No,” Starsky quickly replied, understanding how upset she might be at the idea of her husband keeping such a secret about their immediate family. “Neither does your mother. We were going to wait until my book was published this summer, before deciding how to tell people we thought should know.”

She straightened and suddenly seemed hurried. “I’ll get my own copy, since that one is personalized to you both. Where’s the file?”

Hutch put the book down and handed the ancestry case paperwork to her.

“Thanks,” she said awkwardly.

Starsky offered, “If, after you and Nick read the chapter, if you want to talk to us about it….”

“We’ll see,” she said with discomfort, and moved toward the kitchen.

All was silent as Hutch followed her, and then saw her out. When he came back through the kitchen, to the living room, he sighed heavily. “I guess we won’t have to worry about if or when to tell Lannie and Nick.”

“Yeah,” Starsky muttered. He moved to the sofa and sat down. “I guess we should be glad, huh?”

Hutch shrugged, while sitting beside Starsky. “I guess it depends on how she reacts. How they both do.”

Starsky considered an uncomfortable possibility, and then discarded it. “She wouldn’t tell anyone else, like your mother. Right? I know Nick wouldn’t, if he knows it’s important to us.”

Hutch shook his head. “Even if she felt inclined to tell Mom, I can’t imagine that she would think Mom would even be interested.”

“Lorraine would just say, ‘That’s interesting’ and move on to another topic.”

Hutch snorted. “Something like that.” Then he asked, “What do you think Nick will think?”

“I don’t know. I mean, he’ll believe that we believe it, so to speak. Otherwise… I don’t know if he believes in stuff like that.” He felt he spoke for them both when he noted, “Lannie doesn’t seem to consider it possible.”

“She might after she reads it. And if she doesn’t, it doesn’t really matter.” After a moment, Hutch said, “I don’t need other people to believe it.”

“Right. But it would bother me a lot if some thought it was a hoax, that we were making it all up.”

“Why would we? Obviously, we aren’t looking for attention from the press, or something like that.” Firmly, Hutch added, “Your medical records weren’t a hoax. Your doctor doesn’t even know anything about the UFO thing.”


 A couple of days later, Starsky was glad that Hutch had taken off work early, after visiting one of their law firm clients on the side of town opposite from their office. It wouldn’t have made sense for him to return to work in late afternoon. That meant that Hutch was likely cooking a real dinner, since he had time.

Starsky entered the house, and indeed the aroma meant that something good was in the oven. “What’s cooking?”

Hutch didn’t look at him, but a smirk was at his mouth corner. “Paul Muni special.” His 35mm camera was on the kitchen table, and there was a stack of photos, indicating that Hutch must have stopped by the shop that developed their photos.

Indeed, the room smelled like pot roast, and Hutch had indicated that it included Starsky’s favorite fixings. Starsky made a noise of approval, and then picked up the stack of 8x10 photographs. “What case is this?”

“The Larsons. The mother wants the daughter’s new boyfriend checked out. Remember, I did the surveillance when Carlos was sick on Friday. So far, the boyfriend hasn’t done anything suspicious.”

Starsky leafed through them. “Then why did you bother getting them developed?”

Hutch pointed to a car in the photograph. “Wanted to get the license plates of the ones parked in front of his townhouse, in case they end up being important.” He turned away to the cupboard.

Starsky was in the process of putting the photo in question at the back of the stack, and was about to leave them on the table, when he saw the next one. It was of a thirty-ish woman, in a casual dress, with shoulder-length blond hair, walking down the street. “Who’s this?”

Hutch glanced back at him, and then was suddenly bashful. “Oh, just someone I noticed walking down the street.”

Starsky glance went from the photograph to Hutch, and then back to the photograph. “Why did you take a picture of her?”

Hutch’s reply was accompanied by an exaggerated shrug. “Just did.” Now a nervous laugh. “Thought she was sort of attractive.”

Starsky went to the next one, of the woman still walking. As was the next. There were three photographs of the woman. “Did you talk to her?”

“No. She was on the other side of the street. I was just, you know, appreciating the scenery.”

Starsky dropped the photographs to the table, intrigued, and looked fully at Hutch. “What if you were single? Would you have pursued her?”

Hutch blushed. “I don’t know. Depends on what else I was doing, I guess.”

Starsky wondered how to play this. The woman wasn’t a threat. Hutch was being open about it. Did Hutch want him to display jealousy? Or not make anything of it at all?

For certain, Starsky felt titillated by Hutch’s little crushes. There was the therapist, Judith, that Hutch had seen a few times. There was the secretary who worked with a dentist in their office building, and Starsky had once walked in on Hutch flirting with her, while she was using their copy machine. Now, some mystery woman walking down the street. For a moment, Starsky wondered if there had been others, but then dismissed the thought. He was certain that Hutch would somehow make sure that he knew about any such female interests.

While Hutch turned back to the cupboard, Starsky imagined them in bed, him holding Hutch’s cock, and demanding that Hutch tell him all about how he would have approached the woman walking down the street, and talked her into sleeping with him, had he been free to do so. He would stroke Hutch more fervently, the closer Hutch got to detailing how he fucked her.

The house phone rang.

Hutch reached to the wall phone. “Hello?” His expression sobered as he held out the receiver. “It’s Nick.”


Nick arrived in time for dinner. Lanette and Melinda were coming down with colds, so it was left to Nick to discuss the chapter they had read.

After taking a few bites of potatoes, Nick had a look of trepidation when he said, “So, seriously, you guys are the guys in that UFO chapter in the book?”

“Yeah,” Starsky replied.

“When did all that happen? The book never mentioned dates.”

“That was to help protect our identity,” Hutch said.

Starsky replied, “After I got released from the hospital, when I got sick from that monkey bite.”

Nick drew a breath. “I remember hearing that you were really sick, in the hospital. But then you were getting better. I didn’t know there was something terminal about it.”

Hutch said quietly, “I probably downplayed it somewhat. I… I just couldn’t believe it was all happening again, after he’d recovered from being gunned down. And it wasn’t exactly a terminal situation, once he became conscious. The doctors just had no way of knowing if the Herpes B virus would attack his system again.”

“Yeah,” Starsky put in. “And I didn’t want to think about that. Didn’t want to focus on ‘what if’ gloom and doom. Hutch and me needed to get away, sort out what we were going to do with our lives, and so we went to the east coast, for a vacation, and consider whatever possibilities there might be for us. That’s when we decided to start our own private investigation company.”

Incredulous, Nick asked, “And then you had that encounter one night when you were out there?”

Starsky placed his elbows on the table, and folded his hands. “Nick, you got to realize then neither Hutch nor I have any memory of what happened. There’s only the hypnosis session, and the weird stuff that happened afterward — like realizing we were missing a few hours — like the book says.”

“Then maybe it didn’t happen,” Nick said hopefully. “Maybe it was some weird hallucination or something.”

“There’s a part of me that wants to believe that,” Starsky admitted.

Hutch noted, “Your brother was cured of the Herpes B virus. That’s the most important take-away from the whole thing, as far as I’m concerned. We don’t ever have to worry about David becoming sick again.”

Subdued, Nick said, “Just can’t believe you’ve never mentioned it.”

“We couldn’t tell anybody,” Hutch said. “Who would believe it? We’ve never even been sure that we believe it. At least, that it was aliens. But something happened, obviously, to have cured David.”

“Besides,” Starsky put in, “that was the same trip when, you know, Hutch and I became intimate on a whole new level. We were really wrapped up in each other, even more so than was normal for us. Getting used to seeing each other in a new way, so to speak, and trying to figure out how to fold that into our way of being.” He stated what was most on his mind. “I’ll be so glad when when my book comes out. When you read that, you’ll understand so much more about me and Hutch.”

“When is that supposed to be?” Nick asked.

“June, last we heard. My agent hasn’t had an update in a while.”

Hutch asked, “What did Lannie think?”

“She finds it hard to believe. She’s having a harder time than I am, I guess. Just so unexpected.” Nick then focused on his dinner.

Starsky and Hutch did, as well, for the next few minutes. Then Starsky said, “We’d like to keep this under our hats, as much as possible. That’s why we were given fake names in the chapter. Hutch and I always thought that, after my book is published, we’d figure out who we wanted to tell about the chapter in Wildenstein’s book.”

Nick’s mouth corner twitched. “Yeah, Lan said you two looked like deer caught in the headlights, when she picked up that book.”

“We’d just received it — got our first look at the chapter — just a few hours before she came over. We weren’t ready yet for anybody to see it.”

Hutch soothed, “It’s probably just as well, though. Sort of forced the issue, that was going to come to ahead at some point, anyway, after David’s book is published. I just don’t think there’s any reason for Mom to know. At least, not at this stage.”

Nick shrugged. “Don’t see any reason to tell her.”

“Yeah,” Starsky said, “If it ever comes up, it comes up. Otherwise….”

Nick swallowed a roll, and then said, “Just going to take a while to get used to. My brother, abducted by aliens.”

Starsky countered, “Hutch and I just never thought about it much, afterward. We didn’t know how to think about it. So, we didn’t.” He shrugged. “It’s worked out okay for us, I guess.”


That night in bed, Starsky prompted Hutch to rest against him.

Hutch looked up at him. “I guess that went okay, huh?”

“Yeah,” Starsky muttered. Then, gruffly, “I just don’t feel like he got the most important point. That it was you, begging and pleading for them not to hurt me, that caused them to cure me.”

Gently, Hutch reminded, “That wasn’t exactly the point of the chapter.”

Starsky realized his voice was gruff. “It’s what’s always meant to the most to me, about the whole thing.”

“Well, you know, maybe if Nick were to read it again, that part would stand out more.” Then, tenderly, “You can’t expect the things that matter most to us, to matter most to others.”

Starsky didn’t want to concede that point. “I just hope, so much, that when my book comes out, it really does give people a sense of us.”

“They’ve got to be open to it,” Hutch stated, with annoying reasonableness. “We can’t dictate to everyone how they’re supposed to feel about it, when they read it.” Then, more gently, “You’ve got to trust yourself. That you’ve opened your heart, and presented everything we’ve been to each other in a beautiful way. It’s up to each individual reader to decide what they’re going to take away from it.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

Hutch kissed the flesh beneath his mouth. “I love you.”

Starsky lowed his head to meet Hutch’s lips. He immediately felt a whole lot better.




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