It was close to 7 p.m. when Starsky dragged himself from his car and made his way toward his apartment. It had been over twelve hours now...twelve hours since he had fled Hutch's apartment...got a cab to his car...drove home to shower and change...and then....

Then what?

Then spent the rest of the day driving aimlessly, occasionally stopping in deserted areas to walk for a mile or two. Driving...walking...wandering...trying to do anything to keep from thinking or feeling. But one overwhelming thought pervaded throughout the day: you could run as far as you wanted to, but you could never run far enough to get away from yourself.

Feeling the utter despair wash over him, he entered his apartment. He had taken only about three steps inside, not even closing the door, when he felt the other presence in the room. Turning quickly, he caught a glimpse of the blond head which shone in the darkened room. While he fumbled to switch on the light, Hutch rose from the chair. Starsky's heart began to race in his chest as he got a good look at his partners imposing stature. Drawn up to his full height, arms folded in front of him, face impassive, his voice roared into the quiet room.

"Where the hell have you been?"

Taken aback, Starsky tried to locate his voice...find his words. "I...I was...I went...."

"Went where?" Hutch demanded. "Where the hell did you need to run off to at the crack of dawn this morning? Where were you that was so important you couldn't take a second to bother to call me and let me know you were all right?"

Unconsciously, Starsky took a step back, the unexpected barrage throwing him off balance.

Hutch must have misread the move as a retreat. In a flash, the blond was across the room, slamming closed the door and blocking it with his body as uncompromising eyes pinned him in place.

"Oh, no you don't! Don't think for one second you're running out on me again. No more running, Starsky! We're going to face this here and now."

"I wasn't trying to leave," Starsky managed to get out in an unsteady voice. He swallowed hard, a feeling of dread lodging in the pit of his stomach. This was it. He had finally done it. He felt the car keys drop limply from his hands as he turned away from the unwavering gaze.

"I'm sorry, Hutch...about yesterday...last night...this morning...all of it."

"I don't want an apology," Hutch responded in a voice lower in volume but still forceful. "I want answers. I want you to talk to me."

"What do you want to know?"

"Where you went for starters. And why you ran out on me."

Starsky heard the pain buried behind the tight voice. He had hurt Hutch again...badly. And after everything Hutch had done for him last night...after the way he had stood by him and cared for him and comforted him....

Oh jeez, Hutch. Can't you see? I didn't want to leave. I never wanted to stay anyplace more in my whole life. But how could I stay there? How could I stay there beside you...waking up next to that smooth, creamy flesh...remembering how I touched you there last night...remembering how it felt to feel you drawing down my pants...your breath against my groin....

"Answer me, damn it!"

Starsky flinched as Hutch's firm tone snapped him back to the present.

"I didn't mean to run out...not like you think. I just...I needed some air. I needed some air to clear my head."

"And you couldn't have just told me that? You couldn't have just let me know where you were going so I wouldn't spend the entire day going out of my mind with worry?"

Hutch kicked the heel of his foot back hard against the door as he struggled for composure. Through clenched teeth he admonished, "Damn it, Starsky, how could you do that to me?"

"Because I'm a shit," Starsky stated dryly, filled with self-loathing. All he had thought about was himself...his need to escape, to run. He never bothered to consider what it would be like for Hutch to wake up and find him gone...to not know where he was after his irrational behavior last night. Hutch couldn't help but be worried. Hell, Starsky didn't even know himself what he was capable of doing anymore. How could Hutch not be concerned?

"I thought we had made some progress last night," Hutch said, no longer hiding the raw pain from his voice. "You let me in again...let me comfort you. I thought you were starting to trust me again."

"I never stopped trusting you," Starsky protested, pain engulfing every fiber of his being. For him to have hurt Hutch like that...to have him thinking he didn't trust him....

Starsky forced himself to look at his partner, though he regretted it the moment he did. Hutch was still against the door, but not to barricade it. His body was leaning back heavily against it as though it were the only thing holding him up. The blue eyes were tired...defeated. The blond head slumped down with a lengthy sigh. Starsky wanted more than anything to go to him, to hold him, to comfort him...but he didn't dare. He wasn't strong enough to handle it. As it was, his knees were buckling beneath him. He grabbed onto the back of the couch as he tried to reach out to his partner with heartfelt words.

"This is not about you, Hutch. It never was. I trust you more than anything. You've been...nothing short of terrific through all of this, everything. And not just this. You've always been there for me. You're the only one..." he paused, emotion caught in his throat.

"The only one who's ever taken care of you," Hutch finished softly.

"Yeah," Starsky nodded, unable to say more.

"Then why won't you let me take care of you now?" Hutch beseeched.

Because I can't. Because really soon I'm going to lose it all and I've gotta be prepared. Because I need it too damn much, but I don't deserve it one bit. Because I've got so many things bottled up inside me that if I let my guard down and let you in, the dam is going to burst and I won't be able to stop what comes rushing forth. Because if I hadn't passed out last night I would have....

"Starsky." The tender voice was right beside him now. When did Hutch move? How did he get so close? Was he shaking too?

A trembling hand cupped his chin and forced his face around. Imploring eyes threatened to unravel him. "If you really trust me, then trust me now. Stop hiding behind the damn walls and let me in."

Summoning every ounce of willpower, Starsky resisted the temptation as he pleaded for his life.

"For both our sakes, I'm begging you, just leave this alone. Just go."

A new shard of pain sliced through the liquid blue eyes at this latest perceived rejection. Hutch removed his hand and backed away, but to Starsky's dismay, he did not leave. Instead he began to pace about the room, fists clenching and unclenching. Starsky recognized the facial expression...that steel-trap mind was hard at work trying to figure, to understand. Words started to spill out of Hutch as he walked, his tone a mixture of anger, confusion, sorrow, defeat and stubborn refusal.

"No. No. We're not going to play this game anymore. It's a sick, twisted game and it needs to end. Push...pull...accept...reject...hurt and anger and guilt and pain...and sandwiched between all of it is this thing...this artificial facade that doesn't ring true. This is not us. We've always been real with each other. It's never been a game. So where is this coming from? There's more happening here. There's more going on than grief and depression. I mean those are real and they're powerful, but there's more to it."

Starsky gripped the couch tighter as his head began to spin. Hutch could be like a dog with a bone when he put his mind to something, and he obviously wasn't letting go of this now. With trepidation, he listened as the stream of words continued unceasingly.

"I almost had it that night in the car. It was there for that brief second, but I just couldn't get my hand on it. And then you locked it away again. Except for last night. It was there for a little while last night too. There's something there...something you need...something that's in me to give...something I'm missing...something important and you won't tell me. You won't tell me what it is!"

The last sentence was a frustrated shout. Starsky was unsure if Hutch was still trembling or was it just the pounding of his own head jarring his vision? Starsky tried to walk, to move away, but he didn't get far. Hutch caught him by the arm and swung him around, capturing his forearms in a vice-like grip. Starsky had no strength. No energy to pull away. His limbs had turned to jelly as his world slipped out from under him. It was almost over now...it was all slipping away like sand through an hour glass.

He stood mutely as Hutch's steely grip kept him upright. But it wasn't the strength or the power that proved to be his final undoing. Hutch's face was inches from his now, stripped of all veneer. He hid behind nothing, his face, eyes and voice steeped in impassioned, unguarded emotion.

"It's the distance I can't take. I think I could take anything but that. You're killing me here, Starsk. Every day I watch you. You're falling apart. Everyday another piece dies off and I'm helpless to stop it. All I want is to be there for you, but you just keep pushing me away. Do you have any idea how much that hurts? You are everything to me. You are all that matters to me in this whole world and I'm useless to you. When I think of all you've given to me...all the things you've brought to my life...hell, you are my life. I don't even know how to be me anymore without you. So much of who I am is tied up in who I am to you. And when you're pushing me away, I lose all sight of who I am and why I exist. I know you need something, Starsk. I can see it...I can feel it. But you won't tell me what it is. You won't let me give it to you. You may as well just rip my heart out of my chest and stomp all over it. Please, Starsky. Please...I'm begging you. Tell me."

A strange sense of relief flooded through Starsky as he listened to the poignant words; it was the relief born of knowing the fight was over and, even though you'd lost, you were glad it was finally finished. He had fought against the inevitable for so long he was almost glad to give in to it. It would have been liberating if it hadn't been so tragic.

It was ironic that he had never loved Hutch more than he did at this moment...this final moment right before he would lose him. For even if Starsky had the strength or will to fight anymore, there was no way he could be anything but honest in the face of Hutch's sincere disclosure. Hutch was finally about to learn the truth...and Starsky was about to lose the last remaining tie he had to the world.

In those final moments, when Hutch had finished speaking and the charged silence hung between them, Starsky tried to memorize every detail of his friend's face, knowing he would never be this close to it again. Tears flooded the vulnerable eyes staring into his...tears that left streaky trails down the fine cheek bones. The fair complexion was colored crimson; stray strands of hair flopped into the side of his eye.

But it was the mouth that held Starsky's attention the longest. The mouth that had just uttered those words that would live in Starsky's heart forever. The mouth that, just last night, had been so close to him, he could feel its moisture against his stirring cock, the mouth that had pressed against Starsky's so willing in countless recurring dreams.

Standing there transfixed by that luscious mouth, Starsky realized that he was a man with nothing to lose, for he was a man with nothing left. From somewhere deep inside, a devilish voice told him that if he had to go down, he may as well go out with gusto. Why should the last memory between him and Hutch be his uttering the words that would sever their relationship forever? In one gesture, he could bare the inevitable truth, while at the same time steal one bittersweet taste of that perfect mouth that he could savor forever.

Before he had a chance to reconsider, he leaned into the solid frame and bent his neck upward, pressing his lips against the lithe mouth before him. Starsky closed his eyes, blocking out all thought, as he tasted the salty, tear-stained mouth beneath his. Hutch's lips were soft and warm and a perfect fit to his own. And though he didn't dare invade them, the genteel contact ripped through his starved system like a tidal wave. He heard his own moan escape his throat as he lapped and nibbled and tasted the sweetness over and over. As his head started to swim in a dizzy rush, he became vaguely aware that Hutch's hands still had a firm grip on his forearms, holding him up rather than pushing him back. He continued to feast greedily on his treasured banquet until his own breathlessness forced him to pull back.

As he tried to regain his balance amidst the swirling sensations assaulting his body, Starsky glanced up at Hutch, bracing himself for the worst. The face staring back at him contained elements of confusion and surprise...and something else mysterious to Starsky. But nowhere could he detect the expected repulsion or disgust.

Pulling back to give Hutch space, Starsky found himself still caught in the grasp of the powerful hands. To his surprise, Hutch tightened the grip, pulling Starsky forward until their lips touched again. Some part of Starsky's consciousness tried to question and comprehend what was going on here. But it was drowned out by the primal urges that exploded within him as he got a second chance at that mouth.

Unable to stop himself this time, Starsky parted the lips with his probing tongue and ventured forth into the forbidden channel. Pliant lips gave way to his, opening wider for greater access. Starsky's tongue plunged further, partaking in every crevice, learning, then memorizing, every detail. It was like nothing he'd ever encountered. He felt almost drunk from the nectar.

When he did finally pull back his whole body was trembling. He tried to catch his unsteady breath...to find some coherent thought somewhere in his brain. Hutch was staring unblinkingly at him as though he were seeing him for the first time. Starsky tried to form words...to apologize...to figure out a way to make this right....

"Hutch, I'm sorry...I...."

Whatever he was going to say became swallowed by the mouth that swooped down to devour his. If Hutch had not been holding him firmly upright, he surely would have fainted from the shock to his system.

Hutch is kissing me.

The inflamed lips were no longer accepting but initiating...initiating the most heavenly kiss Starsky had ever known. The tongue he had just caressed with his had now sprung to life, invading his mouth with relish.

Hutch is kissing me.

The words echoed over and over in Starsky's mind as he tried to convince himself that this was real. It had to be real. No dream had ever left him this devastated from one kiss. But how could this be happening? How did he move from the lowest point in his life to this fantasy come true? What was going on here?

When his mouth was finally released, Starsky was gasping for air. He noted then that the hands that were holding him were trembling as well. That's when he saw it...the look in Hutch's eyes. It was a look Starsky had never seen there before. Nobody had ever looked at Starsky like that, especially Hutch. But what did it all mean?

Before he could decide, he realized they were kissing again. He wasn't even certain who started it this time. All he knew was that their mouths kept coming together like magnet and steel. Hutch's kisses were like nothing he'd ever known...nothing he could describe. His responses to them seemed pre-determined, as though they were part of his genetic make-up. Nothing he could remember was so fully capable of short-circuiting his entire system.

He felt himself slipping down, despite Hutch's hold on him. His body was just too overcome to sustain much muscle control. This was all so unexpected, so overwhelming, so confusing...so incredibly arousing.

Hutch's mouth left his then as the blond struggled to steady the collapsing body in his arms. He turned them both, leaning Starsky against the back of the couch for support while he took several deep breaths to regain his own control. Hutch looked closely at Starsky, a look that attempted to ascertain his partner's condition. There was something almost like guilt in Hutch's eyes, as though he were berating himself for his lack of restraint. The blond took another deep breath, which composed his body though the fire still burned in his eyes. But it was gentle, unhurried hands that clasped the sides of Starsky's face and held it as though it were made of porcelain. Lips moved forward to plant cherishing kisses on Starsky's forehead, nose, eyelids and chin. Though meant to slow things down, the reverence completely undid the bolts that the passion had already loosened. Starsky fell helplessly forward into his partner, limbs giving out completely under the strain of his accelerated pulse, heated shivers, rapid breathing and lightheaded wooziness.

Hutch responded immediately, wrapping one hand around Starsky's waist while he bent to scoop up the buckling legs. Gathering Starsky into the sanctuary of his arms, Hutch carried him into the bedroom. There was a surreal quality to it all that made Starsky worry once more that he was dreaming. But the way he was reacting...the things he was feeling...were unlike anything he'd ever experienced. How could a dream capture sensations that he never knew existed?

Hutch sat him down on the edge of the bed then knelt on the floor before him, pressing between his thighs. Crystal blue eyes held Starsky in hypnotic rapture while steadfast hands reached to take the jacket down from his shoulders. As the jacket was drawn off his arms, special care was given to safeguard his bandaged hand. The jacket was then discarded in a heap on the floor, Hutch's eyes never leaving his. Those eyes held him as powerfully as the strong arms just had. Starsky knew that if he could just keep looking in them, nothing bad could ever happen to him again. Everything in those eyes was honest and open and safe. Starsky had always sought and found refuge there, and now, when his whole world was spinning out of control, those eyes were the anchor that held him in place.

Hutch's hands moved to his face again, feather light fingertips outlining his temples...sliding down along his cheeks...his jaw. The thumbs of each finger brushed beneath his eyes, dipping into the moisture that Starsky wasn't aware had been there.

"Too many tears," Hutch whispered, his own eyes still shimmering with moisture. Then he leaned forward, still holding Starsky's face, and lapped the them away with his tongue and lips.

The tender gesture rocked Starsky to his core. Emotion welled up from deep within him, catching in his throat and burning through his eyes. A choked sob was emitted from his throat while his eyes filled with heavier tears. He wouldn't have been able to keep them from falling if he'd tried, but Starsky didn't even try. He was beyond hiding anything at this moment. As the tears flowed unbidden from his eyes, Hutch was there to kiss each one away. Only when the last tear had fallen, did Hutch guide him down on his back to lay across the mattress.

He lay staring up at the ceiling that he knew was his, yet thinking it looked different somehow. Glancing around, everything in the room looked different, felt different. The bed he had lain in for years was the same...yet not the same at all. The body he had lived in his whole life felt strange to him...senses felt heightened, reactions unexpected, control unattainable.

He was aware that Hutch had removed his shoes and socks...perhaps even his own from the sound of things. He was pulled up further onto the bed so that his legs stretched out across the mattress as well. Hutch was hovering above him then, supporting arms propped on either side of Starsky's head, knees straddling his hips. As Starsky looked up into that face he adored, once again finding the eyes that he trusted, he knew he wanted to lay here in this place forever and never move. At that moment, he wasn't even sure if he could move. His limbs felt as though they had melted into the mattress, become one with it. Again, his body's responses seemed out of his control. His body decided it wanted to lay here in this place and there wasn't a damn thing he was able to do about it.

Hutch, on the other hand, seemed to be experiencing no such lack in coordination. Shifting his balance to his left arm, he brought his right hand to Starsky's hair, to sift through the curls. The hand moved to Starsky's face again, caressing his cheeks and chin. The index finger traced a faint line around his lips then brushed across them. Starsky's mouth fell open and Hutch trailed the finger along the moist inner flesh of his lower lip.

Hutch's face swooped close to his then, desire and restraint seeming to do battle behind his eyes. The kiss this time was less consuming than the ones in the living room, as though Hutch were being careful not to inundate Starsky's overloaded system. Starsky had fast come to realize, however, that any contact with that mouth would send him into orbit.

The kiss became longer and deeper with every minute that passed, mouths moving in unison...lips sealed together in intimate bond...tongues mating with the joy of finally finding their predestined match. Hutch's hand was in his hair again, seemingly fascinated by the feel of it. The fingers twisting in his curls bent his neck back, opening him further to the depths of the kiss.

When Hutch finally pulled back, they were both gasping for air. Starsky's mouth continued to tingle in swollen passion. He wanted more...needed more. If Hutch didn't kiss him again right then, he would surely forget how to breathe. He was a starving man and Hutch's mouth was the only nourishment that could sate him. He moaned with longing, hoping the pleading in his eyes was understood. It was, and once again he was swept up into the whirlwind that was kissing Hutch.

Dizzily, he began to decipher the situation. He was here, awake in his own bed. Hutch was on top of him...touching him...kissing him. Nothing about that felt plausible. Yet it felt more right, more familiar, more natural than anything he had ever experienced.

While his mind struggled to comprehend, his body merely reacted. He was hot everywhere, his clothes clinging to his perspiration-soaked skin like wallpaper to a wall. His heart was pounding so hard he could hear it in his ears. His groin was pressing so firmly against his pants that he could almost count the teeth indentations from his zipper, even through his briefs.

When Hutch released his mouth this time, he wailed from the loss. He was shaking so badly...needing so desperately. His head ached from the riotous profusion.

A quieting hand smoothed along his face and neck as a voice whispered in his ear.

"Shhhh...easy. We've got time."

Lips were kissing his ear then, as the hand massaged his chest at the point of his thundering heartbeat.

"Shhhhh." The light entreaty blew in his ear again. It was as though Hutch had sensed how desperate...how painful his passion had become. He could feel the concern in each touch...feel the efforts to relax him and help him breathe. He closed his eyes, trying to give into the lulling gestures.

Moist lips and tongue moved unhurriedly along Starsky's face and neck. Gentling kisses were planted everywhere: forehead, eyelids, cheeks, ears, nose, chin, neck, throat. Hutch was tasting every inch of him...treating every unconcealed patch of skin to the magic of his touch.

Without his mouth leaving Starsky's flesh, Hutch leaned back on his legs, redistributing his weight to free his other hand. Both hands gripped the hem of Starsky's red knit shirt, sliding it up slowly as Hutch nibbled on a particularly sensitive spot on his neck.

With his shirt bunched up below his neck, Starsky felt the air assault his heated torso, causing him to shiver. But then warm palms rubbed up and down...from his stomach to his shoulders and back again...over and over....

While continuing the strokes, Hutch slid further down, bringing his mouth to Starsky's chest. Again, every inch of him received equal attention as the hot trail of kisses laved over him unceasingly.

Starsky heard his own soft whimpers, which he could not control. The pleasure was much too disarming. Never...never in his wildest dreams could he ever have imagined this. Even in his most daring of fantasies, Hutch would allow Starsky to touch him...and if Starsky were really careful...and lucky...toleration would melt to acceptance...and maybe -- eventually -- pleasure.

But now, Starsky lay motionless, seeming to have lost all ability to move...to touch...to speak...the moment Hutch had kissed him back. Finally faced with his heart's desire, he found its attainment too overpowering to handle. The sheer magnitude of it had blown him apart, scattering him into dysfunctional pieces.

Hutch had been gathering those pieces...one by one...kissing them, stroking them, fitting them back together. Only they were coming together in a new way, creating a new Starsky...someone he'd never met. This new Starsky was being lavished with love and attention and tenderness. This Starsky seemed to be cherished and desired by the only person in the world he'd ever truly loved.

He felt his arms being lifted up over his head as his left nipple was captured by the tireless mouth igniting his body. The slow sucking there sent a blinding flash past his eyes. When the gentle nibbling began, his back arched upward and his head bent back in a howl. Hutch took advantage of this position, sliding the shirt out from under his back, along his upstretched arms and over his head...all without releasing the nipple he was electrifying.

With the shirt removed, Hutch's hands were free again to return to Starsky's body. Deliberate fingers seized control of the other nipple and Starsky was once more sent soaring. Hutch's hands and mouth were unleashed fully then, and Starsky's torso was their playground. Starsky lost track of everything but sensations...hot, wet caresses...soft tickles...firm kneading...licks, bites, kisses, strokes. Anywhere and everywhere. Liquid fire burning through his veins...balls full and throbbing...he wasn't sure where he was or who he was anymore. All he knew was that he was in a place where everything felt wonderful and nothing hurtful could get near him.

It took a while to come down from that tremendous high and become aware of his surroundings again. When he did, Hutch was sitting up above him looking down, his ass resting back on Starsky's thighs. One hand was lightly tracing his chest, outlining the scars there as if they were something to be revered. Hutch's eyes burned with emotion, as though he too had been overwhelmed by the depth of what he was feeling. He looked into Starsky's eyes then, a look so pure and adoring that Starsky found himself unable to breathe.

"You're so beautiful," Hutch was saying in a thick voice. "You look so...elated...so..." Hutch shook his head, words seeming to escape him. Finally, he bent to kiss one of the bullet scars...a visible reminder of the many hurts they shared. When he lifted his head and looked at his partner again, he sighed. "It should always be like this...you should always be like this." He leaned forward to kiss Starsky's quivering lips. It was a sweet kiss, a treasuring kiss. Only when it was over did Starsky's body forcefully remind him of the need to breathe.

He wanted to say something then...to tell Hutch...to begin to find a way to express all the feelings he'd held inside for so long. But he couldn't force the words from his throat. Fear gripped him...fear of breaking this spell between them...fear of doing something wrong...something that would bring reality crashing back down upon them. He didn't want reality. He'd had more reality than he could cope with. What he wanted was for this magical, perfect sanctuary to go on forever. And so he remained quiet, eyes transfixed by the dream lover before him.

Hutch was a sight he never grew tired of. At work, in the car, in front of the television, even on the damned racquetball court, Starsky's eyes were constantly drawn to his partner. To be looking at him here, now, in his own bed -- hair ruffled, face flushed, mouth swollen -- it was a sight so exquisite it was almost blinding.

Hutch noted the way Starsky was looking at him. He must have recognized the hunger in those eyes...the need to see more. The skilled fingers that had delighted Starsky's flesh moved to the buttons of the white cotton shirt. One by one, the buttons were unfastened, revealing small glimpses of flesh to Starsky's captive eyes. When the last one had finally been undone, Hutch slid the shirt down off his shoulders in a move that was so sensual it should have been illegal.

Starsky was gaping openly, nearly salivating at the sight before him. It wasn't that he had never seen Hutch shirtless. But this was the first time he could react to the sight instinctively...without fear of letting something slip. The freedom was exhilarating. He allowed his eyes to linger languidly over the perfectly formed physique, licking his lips again and again. Broad shoulders, well-defined pecs, toned arms, flat belly...all encased by the creamy, smooth, unblemished skin. Starsky was enthralled.

Hutch smiled at the scrutiny. He teased his partner lightly. "You like that, huh?"

Starsky could merely nod, but he knew his face and eyes were saying much more. Hutch seemed to blossom in the face of the open admiration, as though it was the first time he had been looked at that way. Didn't he have any idea how incredible looking he was?

"Well, whatever makes you happy," Hutch stated shyly as he reached for the snap at the top of his jeans. Eyes locked with Starsky's, he opened the snap and began to pull the zipper down.

Starsky's breath caught in his throat as his eyes became riveted to the bulge protruding beneath the zipper. His own groin pulsed painfully in sympathy. Hutch moved off of Starsky, climbing from the bed to stand beside it, as he grasped the top of the black jeans and began to ease them down his long frame. The briefs slid down inside the pants.

Starsky gasped aloud as a tremor coursed through him. The sight was almost more than he could bear. Hutch was standing there...this blond, perfectly sculpted statue...thick, uncut cock stretching tauntingly towards him from a patch of light curls. Hutch, completely naked and aroused...balls heavy, cock fully erect, nipples taut...and all for him.

It felt as though his entire being were going to rupture. He wasn't sure he could handle the flood of reaction, both physical and emotional, that was swamping him. As Hutch got back in the bed and crawled slowly towards him, his head swam as though he might black out.

Hutch was beside him now, stretching all that gorgeousness across the mattress next to him. Arm folded at the elbow, Hutch rested his head upon his hand, lounging on his side, only inches separating his body from Starsky's.

Starsky struggled to move, but breathing was taking a tremendous effort. He finally managed to peel his right hand off the mattress and tried to maneuver his only working limb towards Hutch. But it shook fitfully and fell against Hutch's side in a thud rather than a caress. Starsky moaned in frustration as the tears welled in his eyes.

"Shhhh," Hutch soothed as he lifted the offending limb and planted light kisses all over it. He turned the hand and licked the inside of the palm before returning the arm to the mattress from which it had come. In the gentle eyes there was understanding...understanding for the things Starsky couldn't understand himself. And then Hutch climbed on top of him, pressing his bare chest against Starsky's, providing the contact Starsky longed for but couldn't seem to seek for himself.

He sunk deeper into the mattress as the weight of Hutch's body bore down on him. Hutch was everywhere...against his chest...his arms...his legs. Those hands that he adored clasped his face, holding it in place for the determined mouth that was descending upon him.

Hutch's mouth covered his and took possession of him, not only kissing him powerfully but forcing him to breathe through his partner. Much needed oxygen was being blown into his mouth in a steadying rhythm, causing his erratic breathing to become more regulated. Some of the lightheadedness cleared as his lungs got a continuous supply of air.

When Starsky's breathing had slowed and the tremors became less pronounced, Hutch began to undulate on top of him, squeezing his erection into Starsky's denim covered bulge. Starsky groaned into Hutch's mouth as the fire spread throughout him.

His chest and mouth were sealed to Hutch's, his cock held prisoner beneath him. The smell, the taste, the feel of Hutch was everywhere, and it was heaven...and it was hell. He needed more. He ached for more. Just as he tried to figure out what it was he needed, hands were at the fastening to his pants and he knew.

Hutch broke away from Starsky's mouth, trailing white hot kisses down his body as the adroit hands undid his pants. The blond head poised over his stomach, devilish tongue darting in and out of his navel as the zipper to his pants was pulled down. In another moment, his strangled cock was set free as his pants and briefs were drawn from his body in one swift move.

His cock didn't stay free for long, however. It was captured by two determined hands that began to stroke him mercilessly as Starsky reveled in the birth of this alliance between their naked flesh.

Starsky cried out at the feel of Hutch's hands upon his love-starved cock, precum oozing from him at the moment of contact. It wasn't going to take much to put him over the edge.

The base of his cock was gripped firmly, fingertips trailing down the pulsing vein. His back arched up and his hips began to thrust in a need-filled frenzy. Hutch repositioned himself, sitting down on the top of Starsky's thighs, digging his knees into Starsky's bucking hips to hold them steady. Pinned hard into the mattress, Starsky could only groan as his balls were fondled with the most delicate touch. His cock was grasped more tightly and stropped in a rhythm that would quickly be his undoing.

It didn't take much...his ravenous body could not withstand this glorious torture for long. And then it happened. Starsky...who hadn't been touched by anyone but himself for over two years...who had longed for the touch of only one person for what felt like a lifetime...came...and came hard. His entire body seemed to convulse up into Hutch's hands as spasm upon spasm tore through him.

Blinding light flared behind his eyes. His throat burned raw from his screams. Jet after jet of hot liquid erupted from him like lava spewing out of a volcano. Every muscle inside him tensed and rode out the waves. Long, glorious moments of ultimate release cumulated in an inebriated haze that he floated in unhindered.

Still drifting, he became aware of soft, light sensations tickling his ear and neck. He smiled and leaned into them as the sensations increased. He didn't need to open his eyes to recognize the feel of Hutch's mouth. His ear and neck were being nibbled in the most provocative way, and Starsky, who was just coming back from the throes of a mammoth orgasm, felt the slightest twinge of reawakening in his balls.

He opened his eyes and turned his head, coming face to face with Hutch, who was lying beside him. The smile that met him touched him more deeply than any orgasm could. Gentle fingers carded through his hair while Hutch continued to look at him, as though looking at him was the most satisfying experience in the world. Starsky still couldn't believe this was happening. Was he really lying here naked and spent beside his partner...and was his partner really the one who got him in that condition?

Thinking about conditions brought a sharper sense of awareness. He was free from any trace of uncomfortable stickiness...Hutch must have cleaned him off after he came. Hutch was still firmly erect beside him yet lying here as though he didn't have a care in the world.

Apparently seeing Starsky's eyes lingering on his still engorged cock, Hutch cupped his chin and brought his face back to meet his eyes.

"It's OK," he reassured. "It can wait. I'd much rather look at you." He edged closer then, his voice huskier. "Actually, I'd much rather kiss you."

He pressed several sweet, undemanding kisses on Starsky's lips. Starsky knew he had already become addicted to the taste and feel of Hutch's mouth, so he wasn't surprised when his lips fell open and his tongue engaged in a mission to attain its next fix. They took turns probing each other's mouths, leisurely kisses becoming more and more insistent.

Starsky felt his body responding to Hutch in a way that he had never responded to anything before. To his utter surprise, his hunger was once again ignited. This realization made him feel greedy. Here he was, caught up in his own needs and desires again, when Hutch hadn't received any satisfaction at all. Hutch had given such unflagging attention to all his needs and never asked for anything in return.

The fingers that were lightly caressing his side came to a stop by his hip. Starsky was grasped there and pulled closer into Hutch so that the scorching kiss they were sharing could be deepened. As Starsky groaned into his partners mouth, he became consumed by a craving...a craving which had been denied and suppressed for an eternity, a craving that could satisfy Hutch's needs as well. To satisfy it, however, he'd have to regain some use of his faculties. That wasn't the easiest thing to do, especially with Hutch's other hand stroking across his chest, alternately fondling each of his nipples until they became hard, hot steel.

Starsky felt himself becoming overwhelmed again, bulldozed by the intensity of having so many long dormant yearnings liberated at once. The only way to get out from under the deluge was distance. Steeling himself with every ounce of strength he possessed, Starsky broke the kiss and pulled back. With effort, he was able to sit up and move to the edge of the bed.

"Something wrong?" Hutch's concerned voice questioned from behind him. Starsky shook his head as he pulled open the drawer of the night table beside the bed. He had actually hoped to get out of the bed to do this, the heat from Hutch's body far too close behind him to make thinking clearly an easy task. If he were to move closer....

Starsky fumbled quickly through the drawer. He realized when he sat up that he was far too unsteady to stand and put distance between himself and the bed, so he had to make this quick. He located what he was looking for just as Hutch's hand fell upon his back. The simple touch inflamed his flesh.

Without turning around, he laid the tube of KY on the mattress beside him, grateful that his quick glance showed that the expiration date on the long unused tube hadn't passed. The hand that had been rubbing his back froze, and he felt the body behind him stiffen. There was silence in the room for several minutes...unless you counted the sound of Starsky's heartbeat which he was sure was as loud as a jackhammer.

Finally, the hesitant voice behind him questioned, "Starsk?"

Starsky took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He cleared his throat twice before he trusted it to work properly, then he pushed forth with the first words he had uttered in hours. "Make love to me, Hutch...please."

The request was met with silence. When Hutch's hand dropped from his back, Starsky's entire body went ridged and he was unable to move a single muscle. Fear enveloped him. What had he done? Had he pushed too far? Why couldn't he have just left things alone...been grateful for the unexpected gift he'd received tonight. Why did he have to push Hutch beyond what he was ready to give?

If he had had any strength left in his body at all, he would have run from there at that moment...run as far as he could without ever turning back to see the look that was surely on Hutch's face. But he was trapped in this nightmare which was about to get worse. Hutch's hand was on his arm pulling him around...pulling him to face the consequences he had been dreading all night. With a sigh of resignation, he turned.

A hand went to his cheek, lifting his face. He looked directly at Hutch then, mentally preparing himself for the worst. But the face that was looking back at him was not what he expected at all. It was tender and open and...if Starsky was reading it correctly...highly aroused.

"You sure that's what you want?" Hutch whispered, searching his face for the truth.

"Yes," Starsky managed as he held his breath.

"Then why are you so tight? Why do you look so...scared?" Hutch's eyes filled with concern.

"Because I thought...I thought you were gonna say no."

Though he tried to conceal it, Starsky saw the fleeting look that implied Hutch thought that was the most improbable thing he'd ever heard. Starsky glanced down then, seeing Hutch's penis in full bloom between them.

"Guess I was wrong." The flood of relief nearly bowled him over.

"I don't want to hurt you," Hutch said in a voice that indicated he might change his mind about this despite his desire.

"You couldn't," Starsky said simply, believing that more than he ever believed anything. Emboldened by the realization that Hutch actually wanted to make love to him, Starsky reached down and ran his fingers along the length of that perfect cock. It surged beneath his touch as Hutch let out a stifled groan. Wrapping his fingers more tightly around it, Starsky closed his eyes and allowed the sensations of touching Hutch in this intimate way wash over him. He stroked the silky, pulsing organ again and again as he became consumed with the thought of having it inside of him.

"Please, Hutch," he murmured as he toyed with the no longer forbidden fruit. "I've been like the walking dead for so long. I thought I'd forgotten how to feel. But you make me feel...you make me alive. I need this, Hutch. I've needed it for so long, I can't remember a time when I didn't."

A ragged wail rang out in the room right before Starsky was pushed back on the bed by an unleashed force. Hutch fell on top of him and they both became swept up in the maelstrom. Arms and legs tangled together as hands groped for everything they could touch. Starsky felt the fleeting frustration of only having one working hand now that he was finally able to touch Hutch as he'd dreamed of doing for so long. But what he lacked in quantity he strove to make up for in quality, demonstrating his worship for the body beside him. Their mouths were sealed together, feeding off of each other as their bodies were grinding in rhythmic delight.

His hand roaming freely over Hutch's body, Starsky felt delirious, as though caught in the throes of a high fever. He couldn't even register all the stimuli engaging his senses. His body was voraciously aroused as though it had never been sated. He was so charged that when his cock brushed up against Hutch's, the contact nearly pushed him over the edge again. The encounter seemed to have a similar effect on his partner, and Starsky felt sure that Hutch was going to take him soon. His pulse increased in anticipation.

To his surprise, however, the blond pulled back, easing Starsky's hands from his body as he worked to control his breathing. When Starsky tried to reach for him again, Hutch snagged his arms and pressed them down into the mattress.

"Whoa, easy tiger. You keep this up and I am going to end up hurting you. We gotta slow down."

Starsky didn't want to slow down. He had waited his whole life for this. But Hutch refused to be rushed, silencing his protests with tender, gentling kisses. Hutch proceeded to cover Starsky with kisses, moving at a deliberate pace that allowed time for his own body to ease back off the precipice.

Laying back, Starsky focused on breathing in and out as his heart raced inside his chest. Hutch's hands and mouth were stroking him in a soothing rhythm, making it difficult not to succumb to their lulling. The comfort found in the tenderness was like a balm upon Starsky's aching soul.

After what felt like an eternity of being bathed in sensuous delight, Starsky felt the moist breath brush across his groin. His thighs were coaxed apart as the velvet tongue slid across the surface of his balls. He shook at the contact, goosebumps cropping up along his flesh. Peeling his eyes open, he managed to catch a glimpse of Hutch stretched out on his stomach, face insinuated between Starsky's open thighs. The sight of that, combined with the exultation as one of his balls was pulled into the heated mouth, sent his mind spinning off into a murky daze.

Things became disjointed then as a plethora of riches assaulted Starsky's system. Fingers and tongue played wickedly with his balls. Moist, satin strokes worked their way up the underside of his cock. Willowy touches teased the entrance to his anus. Finally, the head of his cock was engulfed in torrid suction while, simultaneously, a gel-coated finger penetrated his asshole.

Starsky howled, his back arching off the mattress as his legs came further apart, knees pulling up towards his chest. The motion lodged the finger deeper as the lips pursed tightly around the head of his cock.

The finger within him began to probe, spreading the cool lube around his tight orifice. The head of his cock was being sucked more fervently now, as the tongue darted in and out of its moistened slit. Starsky balled his right hand into a fist, pounding it into the mattress as he struggled to endure.

As his cock was drawn deeper into the merciless mouth, a second finger entered him. The two invaders made themselves at home inside of him, scouting and stretching the uncharted territory. They continued to tunnel undaunted until they came up against a pleasure point that was obviously created to be Starsky's undoing.

Lost in a euphoria Starsky had never known, he bucked up hard into the mouth that merely opened wider to accommodate. There was no escape. He lay pinned between the pleasures wreaking havoc within and without. Somewhere along the line he thought a third finger had joined in his dismantling, but it was hard to distinguish anymore. By the time Hutch was ready to enter him, Starsky was so far gone it felt as if just the word 'fuck' would be enough to set him off.

During the frenzy, a pillow had been propped under his hips and his legs had been pulled open wide and bent at the knees. Hutch's thickly lubed cock was perched at his entranceway, and Starsky's last coherent thought was a plea to his teetering body to hold out long enough for him to enjoy this hungrily anticipated union.

With a gentle push, Hutch's engorged cock took its first step inside. The steely rod inched forward slowly, giving him a chance to accommodate its bulk. Despite the multitude of sensations he had experienced this evening, Starsky was caught completely unprepared for this unprecedented encounter. This was Hutch...Hutch making love to him...Hutch becoming buried inside of him...becoming part of him. The significance of that was astounding.

Hutch felt so big inside of him. Starsky's inner walls tried to constrict and rebel, but he refused to let them. He pulled his legs further apart and took several deep, lung-filling breaths as he focused everything he had on relaxing. Hutch waited patiently, not moving again until the contractions ceased.

The pressure from the stretching might have been painful were it not so wondrous to Starsky. He was staggered by his body's ability to open...adjust...adapt...conform to Hutch. They were joining together as one. Anything necessary to achieve that was worth it.

When it was safe, Hutch sunk in further. With that motion, he brushed up against the place that he had driven mad with his fingers. Starsky grunted as stars burst before his eyes. He felt a blood rush ignite within his deepest recesses and extend outward through his cock, which grew even thicker despite its engorged state.

Having found this Achilles Heel, Hutch was once again merciless. He massaged it with the slick tip of his insistent manhood until Starsky's breathless screams filled the room. As he writhed from wave upon wave of unbearable pleasure, Hutch moved again, filling Starsky so completely that his sacs brushed against the tender ass.

Starsky gasped, the moment so complete...so ideal...that he was afraid to move. He tore his eyes open to look at Hutch...to see their joining...to capture the image in his mind forever. His vision of the radiant blond was blurred. He knew it was from tears, but he didn't care. For once the tears that fell from his eyes weren't bitter or remorseful. They were born of a more profound joy than anything he had ever known.

Having fought to still his body to preserve the moment, Starsky was particularly attuned to the tremors coursing through his other half. Hutch's face reflected the strain he had been enduring to maintain Starsky's pleasure. Admonishing himself for not detecting it sooner, Starsky rocked his hips back and pumped the golden cock he held within.

Interpreting the unspoken entreaty, Hutch let out a long-held grunt as he grabbed Starsky's hips and reared back. Though the controlled Hutch had brought him to heights he had never known, he was certain this unleashed Hutch was going to obliterate him. Starsky smiled broadly as he anticipated the journey to oblivion.

The pumping began in earnest, accelerating with every pass. Hutch was everywhere...inside his body...around his organ...resounding in his ear...inhabiting his heart. Hutch filled him and possessed him and sent him soaring. Nothing had ever been like this...nothing. It was as though he was created just for this moment...this purpose...and everything else in his life was just filler.

He belonged to Hutch now...belonged in a way that he had never belonged anywhere. Tears continued to spill from his eyes as he reveled not just in the physical wonders, but in the bliss of completeness.

He wanted it to last forever...to be loved like this forever. But Hutch was too good. Every nerve ending in Starsky's body was on overload and he knew he could not endure much more.

Starsky threw his arms up over his head and pushed harder down onto Hutch's cock, constricting every muscle he had in an effort to feel more...to get closer...before he passed out from the ecstasy.

A piercing cry emitted from somewhere deep in his partner's throat. Its raw intensity filled the room. Starsky felt the hand that had been pumping his cock tighten then fall away, moving to his hip where the fingers dug into his skin painfully. Starsky's hips were pinned by a similar grip on his other side, holding him in place for the throbbing cock that lunged into him with a force that expelled the air from his lungs.

The vice-like hold on his hips increased as Hutch's entire body began to spasm. The cock inside of him was surging of its own accord as its owner seemed to be clutching on to Starsky to keep from falling over.

With his right hand, Starsky clutched Hutch's left wrist while drawing his inner muscles tighter. The echo from Hutch's screams nearly shook the window panes. Hot creamy jets of liquid began to spray Starsky's insides...coating him...filling him...drowning him....

The phenomenal realization resounded in his brain...Hutch is coming in me. Everything inside Starsky shattered then as he followed his partner into the abyss. His body began to convulse uncontrollably, his cock exploding in endless gushes of semen that splattered everywhere. He could hear his voice shouting Hutch's name over and over as a burst of colors spun like a kaleidoscope through his mind.

Starsky's body continued to burst until it felt as though every last ounce of his essence had been drained. Depleted, he lay cresting on the wings of nirvana, his last purposeful breath a jagged whisper.

"I love you, Hutch."

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