“Okay, yeah, tha’s more fun ‘n I thought it would be.” Hutch slung one arm heavily around his partner’s neck as they walked to the Torino. “That was pretty fun.” He turned his head and shouted back at Simmons’s festively lit house, “Merry Christmas, Ninth Precinct! Merry Christmas, movie house!” He tightened his arm around Starsky and gave him a loud kiss on the side of his head. “Merry Christmas, ya old Building and Loan pal.”
“Merry Christmas to you, too, Clarence,” chuckled Starsky, wiping his hair. “Ya got spit on me. Move over, will ya, lemme get the door.” He unlocked the Torino’s passenger side and unwound his partner from his neck. “In ya go, angel.”
“I’m not the angel, I’m George, I’m Jimmy,” Hutch said, obediently folding himself into the car’s interior. As the door swung shut, he cried out “Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!” to a handful of cops who were headed for their own cars.
Grinning as he walked around to the driver’s side, Starsky waved over at his fellow officers.
“And the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!” yelled Babcock, laughing. “Pour him into bed, Dave. Drive safe.”
“Yeah, you, too, Charlie. See you guys in a few days, huh? Happy holidays.” Their shouted farewells followed him into the car. Inside, Hutch was humming “White Christmas” with his eyes closed.
Starsky snickered and turned the ignition. When Hutch started singing a jazzed-up, syncopated version of his song, Starsky caught the rhythm and whistled along, tapping on the steering wheel.
“We’re there.” Starsky slapped his partner’s knee as he stopped the car in front of Venice Place. He hopped out and went around to open Hutch’s door. “Out we get and up we go. Come on, angel, you’re home.”
“I’ll be home for Christmas,” sang Hutch, accepting a hand up. “You can count on me…” Suddenly Starsky found himself staggering under the weight of a strong embrace, his arms full of Hutch.
“Please have snow…” Hutch sang quietly, “and mistletoe…”
Starsky shivered as the hair near his ear was stirred with warm, bourbon-scented breath. He was chest-to-chest and thigh-to-thigh with his partner, supporting the big lug, and it was one hell of a time to get weak-kneed. It was a hell of time to – oh. Starsky's breath caught as Hutch's lips brushed his neck once, then again... not a kiss so much as an inquisitive caress.
Hutch sighed against his skin. “Come upstairs with me, Starsky. Starsky, come upstairs.”
"Of course I'm coming up, you lush.” Starsky made an effort to sound casual. “You think you could find your way without me?"
"No." Hutch shook his head, his answer simple. Blond hair swept Starsky's mouth. "Without you, I never know where I am."
Starsky laughed lightly, patting Hutch’s back. “Aw, you sweet-talker.” Grunting, he shifted the burden in his arms, getting his shoulder in place to take the weight. “Okay, come on, big guy, start walkin’. Let’s get you to bed.”
Hutch grinned at him as they made their way to the door. “Get me in bed, Starsk,” he said. Then he actually giggled.
“Hey,” Starsky shouted from the bathroom. “Don’t fall asleep ‘til you take these, okay? You’ll thank me in the morning.” He emerged with some aspirin and a glass of water and made his way over to Hutch’s bedroom alcove. “Here, babe, this’ll do you… good.” His voice trailed away.
A boot-sock-boot-sock trail led to the bed, where Hutch was lying, his smooth, bare chest rising and falling easily in sleep. His dark green shirt was unbuttoned and wide open, and so was the fly of his jeans, displaying the fact that he wore red boxer shorts printed with a green plaid Christmas bow, making his crotch look gift-wrapped. One long-fingered hand lay relaxed on his belly, and the other was curled loosely near his head. Hutch was smiling.
Starsky slumped against the wall and took a drink from the glass he held. After a moment, he swallowed the aspirins as well.
His partner was spread out like a Christmas feast, tousled hair shining gold in the lamplight. The moon-and-star necklace, a ruby ring, the chain of his pocket watch… they glinted like tree ornaments, subtle decorations against red and blue and green, with the white snowfield of the bedspread beneath.
Man, Hutch looked gorgeous. He was beautiful. He looked… happy. Starsky rubbed the scarred skin over his own aching heart. Sometimes he felt so full of Hutch it hurt. But it was a sweet kind of pain, and he had decided over the past few months that he liked it. He liked that sudden flip inside when he’d catch Hutch looking at him. And that little electric jolt when Hutch would touch him. They’d been touching each other forever, why did it steal his breath now? When did it become so shocking?
Hutch was aware of it, too – Starsky was nearly positive of that. This new thing humming between them… it was exciting and scary, and Hutch wasn’t backing away from it. Instead, he seemed energized, and – Starsky couldn’t pretend not to see it – he’d begun flirting outrageously.
God, those boxers. Starsky laughed quietly, unsettled but delighted. Something had gotten into Hutch his holiday season. Something good, something joyful, and Starsky loved it. It thrilled him to see Hutch this way.
Thrilled him and terrified him. Starsky scrubbed his face with one hand and abruptly fled the alcove.
What the hell were they doing? What were they headed toward, what in the world were they thinking? Starsky put the water glass in the kitchen sink, and turned in a helpless circle, looking at this shadowy apartment, trying to figure out if he felt lost or at home.
The antiques and art supplies, the plants and the piano… this space was all about Hutch. And Starsky felt good here. Since last May, when everything in his world had exploded in a burst of automatic gunfire, he’d spent an awful lot of time in this place – it was where he’d lived for most of his early recovery. Even after he’d officially moved back to his own apartment, he would often end up here in the evenings. Or Hutch would end up at Starsky’s. Either way – and they’d never really talked about this – they spent more days and nights together than apart. They just… wanted to. Maybe needed to.
All that time in each other’s pockets, yet his partner could still surprise the heck out of him.
Hutch had put up a Christmas tree this year. An actual living tree, a spindly Douglas fir rooted in a big pot in front of the window. And he had decorated it with strings of white lights, and colorful glass balls, and tinsel. Tinsel! The tree had stunned Starsky last week when it first appeared. He’d honestly thought for a second that someone had broken into Hutch’s place, leaving it behind in a weird act of seasonal vandalism.
But then Hutch, whistling “Deck the Halls,” had emerged from the greenhouse and greeted him with “Hiya, Starsk, you like my tree?” and asked if he wanted hot chocolate. What the hell? Starsky had been torn. Should he take the lunatic’s temperature? Slap him and bring him to his senses? Or should he go with his strongest urge, which was to laugh hysterically, throw his arms around the big goofball, and say, “Hell yeah, I’d love some hot chocolate”?
In the end, he’d resorted to predictable humor. Pretending he had the wrong apartment, the wrong guy – I’m lookin’ for Detective Sergeant Hutchinson, have ya seen him? Good-lookin’ blond dude, answers to the name of Scrooge? And Hutch had laughed.
The tree was glowing prettily now in the darkened living room, and Starsky wandered over to it. He tapped a blue ornament, watching it reflect the light as it rocked back and forth. He blew on a few strands of tinsel to see them shimmer. There was one thing he’d been dreaming of doing since first seeing this tree. Soapy, but true. And that was to sit quietly with Hutch and watch the thing sparkle.
All at once, it seemed to Starsky that he’d been away from his partner forever. Jeez, it’d been five whole minutes since he’d laid eyes on the guy, and he missed him. Starsky laughed and rubbed his eyes, then indulged himself, heading back to where Hutch lay sleeping. Carefully, he perched on the edge of the bed, pulling one knee up so it rested near Hutch’s warm side. God, it was crazy, but he wanted to touch that golden skin, feel that beating heart, slide a hand up the long neck, down the smooth belly, and… and what? What? Was he losing his mind?
“I can’t be in this alone,” Starsky whispered. He fingered a strand of fine blond hair. “I’m not alone here, am I, Hutch?”
Hutch stirred at the sound of his name, his eyes drifting open. It took him a second to focus, then a drowsy smile lit his face. “Hey.”
“D’ I fall asleep?”
“Yep. Brought you some aspirin, but you were already out. That’ll teach ya to play drinking games with bourbon. Nice boxers, by the way.”
Hutch blushed a little, and shrugged. “’Tis the season.”
“It certainly ‘tis.” Starsky couldn’t stop toying with that lock of hair.
Hutch lifted a languid hand and dropped it on Starsky’s knee. “You’re staying, right? You’re staying?”
“Want me to?”
“Then I’ll stay.”
“Good.” Hutch’s eyes were closing. “Got a pair for you.”
Starsky chuckled. “Ya got a pair of what for me, big boy?”
“Second drawer.” Hutch pointed a lazy finger toward the bedside table.
Leaning, Starsky opened the drawer and lifted out a small bag. “What? This?”
Hutch nodded, smiling.
Starsky reached in the sack and pulled out a pair of bright blue boxer shorts. Unfolding them, he laughed to find the words “Oy to the World” printed in white across the rear.
“Happy Hanukkah!” said Hutch. “Belated.”
“Ha! Blintz, you big weirdo,” said Starsky, grinning. He draped the shorts against his lap to see how they looked. “I love ‘em.”
“Gonna wear ‘em?”
“You kiddin’ me? I’m never gonna take ‘em off.”
“Mmm,” murmured Hutch sleepily. “Well, that was not my intent.” He blushed again, looking a bit surprised by his own words, but he didn’t turn away. Instead, the hand on Starsky’s knee tightened a fraction, then tugged on the boxers. The blue fabric slithered to the floor, and the warm hand slid higher.
Starsky inhaled slowly and closed his eyes. He had to concentrate, hard, to keep his hips still, to keep himself from moving into the hand that was now stroking his inner thigh. He wanted to thrust into that broad palm so bad it physically hurt; his breathing grew ragged as he felt himself rapidly harden. He looked into Hutch’s blue eyes. “I don’t know… if you know… what you’re doing,” he managed. “I don’t know… if you…”
“I know.” Fingertips teasingly traced the seam at his groin, then that hand, firm and insistent, covered the hard bulge in Starsky’s jeans.
Starsky’s breath left him in a rush. He couldn’t stop himself – he grasped Hutch’s big hand with his own and pressed into it shamelessly, panting. “Oh, jeez… H-Hutch? …what are… what are you…” He bent at the waist, lowering his forehead to his partner’s and grabbing a fistful of blond hair with his free hand. “You’re… you’re…oh, God….”
When Hutch made a hungry sound and tilted his head back, their mouths crushed together, and the first rough, wet slide of tongue against tongue was electrifying. Starsky cried out into his partner’s hot mouth, feeling desperate for this kiss and astonished at what it was doing to him. He gripped Hutch’s kneading hand, shoved it harder against himself, and pushed urgently against the palm, groaning as he came, as those exhilarating, breathtaking waves crashed through him, finally leaving him stunned and still.
Starsky gazed down in disbelief at Hutch’s handsome, smug face – then he gasped for air and dove right back into that voracious kiss, into that deep, greedy mouth.
Long moments later, when he came to his senses, Starsky found he had buried both hands in Hutch’s hair, but his touch was more tender now, as was Hutch’s palm against his cheek. Their kiss was no longer frenzied, but had gentled into a barely-there brush of swollen lips. They drew back, foreheads resting together, eyes closed as they caught their breath.
“Good thing you bought me new underwear,” muttered Starsky, and they both snickered. “Hutch… Hutch! … what are we… what was that?”
“That,” smiled Hutch, contented, his thumb stroking Starsky’s cheekbone, “that… was long overdue.”
“Wow,” breathed Starsky. “You may be right.”
“Oh, I’m right.” Hutch’s thumb skimmed Starsky’s mouth and they kissed again, teasing a little with their tongues.
“You’re bourbon-flavored,” Starsky whispered.
“Yeah,” Hutch nibbled Starsky’s lower lip. “Blame Simmons and his drinking game. Think I’m still pretty loaded.”
“You – you are?” Starsky sat up. “Wait. Is that why –”
“Get back here.” Hutch pulled him down, held him fast, and started grazing on his neck. “I may be drunk, Starsky… but I know exactly… what I’m doing. And, mmm… who I’m doing.”
Starsky laughed, reveling in the slide of lips and scrape of teeth against his skin, tilting his head to offer more. “What’re ya doin’ to me, huh? You didn’t even get your rocks off yet, pal – it’s your turn. Let go of me, lemme at ya.” He started groping around, but Hutch caught his hand.
“Nah. Make me wait, Starsk.” Hutch’s mouth was traveling up his neck. “Mmm, I mean it, make me wait. Starsky… do me when I’m sober.” Hutch bit his earlobe, then sucked it to take away the sting.
Starsky groaned. “God…dammit. Are you serious? Stop, stop, stop.” He forced himself to pull back and sit up. Hutch’s hands began roving up his thighs, and Starsky squirmed. “Whoa there, partner, hang on. Ah, jeez. Lookit, if you’re waitin’, I’m waitin’. Quit – quit! Hutch, you’re revvin’ me up again, quit drivin’ me wild here, or I’ll—”
Hutch slid a hand into the deep, unbuttoned V of Starsky’s red shirt. “You’ll what?” His fingernails grazed a nipple, and Starsky almost shouted. “Or you’ll what?”
Starsky grabbed his wrist and held it still. “Or,” he made himself say, “I will sleep on the couch tonight.”
Hutch narrowed his eyes. “You liar.”
Starsky shook his head. “I’ll do it.” He was proud of how resolute he sounded. “If you’re off limits, so am I.”
Hutch looked skeptical, but he lifted his hands away. “Fine. You win. Take off your clothes and get in my bed, dammit. Sleep with me, Starsky. And I’ll do my damnedest not to turn you on.”
“Yeah, right. You ain’t no Boy Scout, buddy.”
“Neither are you, pal.”
“True.” Starsky pulled his own shirt-tails from his jeans and unbuttoned the last few buttons. He gazed down at Hutch and twitched the collar of his green shirt. “Look at you, layin’ there half undressed. Get up, lazy.” He glanced a little lower. “Looks like part of you is already up. Why do ya wanna wait, Hutch? Feels weird, you bringin’ me off so good, and me leaving you high and dry.”
“Help me up.” Hutch held out a hand and Starsky pulled him to sitting. Wincing at the change in position, Hutch rubbed his forehead. “God. Fuckin’ Simmons.”
“Don’t blame him, dummy, blame your own crazy competitive streak.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Starsky stood, hauling Hutch up with him. He pushed the dark green shirt off his partner’s shoulders, his hands sliding down Hutch’s arms as the shirt fell to the floor. “Aw, babe,” he said, looking down the lean torso to the tented boxers below, “I wanna take care o’ you so bad.”
Hutch slipped Starsky’s shirt off, palms skimming his chest more than necessary. Then he started work, a bit clumsily, on Starsky’s belt. “Wanna take care of me? Get me those aspirin, then fall asleep with me. And make some strong coffee in the morning.” He pushed Starsky’s damp briefs and jeans over his hips. Starsky braced himself for a moment on Hutch’s shoulder as he toed off his shoes and stepped out of his clothes.
Naked, Starsky looked directly into those soft blue eyes. “You gotta know I want you, Hutch. I wanna put my hands on you. I want you up against the wall with your cock in my fist and your balls in the palm of my hand. I want your tongue in my mouth and your hands on my ass when I make you come.”
Hutch blew out a shaky breath. He closed his eyes and bit his lip. “Make me wait, Starsk,” he whispered. Then he smiled.
Starsky raised his eyebrows and slowly grinned. “Oho! This isn’t all about getting sober first, now is it, Hutch. This turns you on. Mmm, you like anticipation…” Starsky stuck his thumbs in the open waistband of Hutch’s jeans, pushing them down those long legs without touching the red boxers. He bent, his face very near Hutch’s groin, and retrieved his own blue shorts from the floor. Before rising, he breathed out lightly and saw the plaid bow leap in response. Chuckling, he rose and headed for the bathroom. “Gonna clean myself off and get your aspirin. Stay awake for five minutes, will ya, this time?” He glanced back and winked. “Then we’ll sleep.”
Easier said than done. Starsky lay in the peaceful darkness, listening to Hutch’s even breathing, wishing he had enough alcohol in him to help him sleep as soundly. He wasn’t much of a drinker since Gunther’s hit in May – too many meds in his daily diet – and sometimes he missed it.
Like now, when he really wanted to get some rest, but this monumental and astonishing thing was keeping him wide awake.
He looked over at Hutch, lying still and quiet beside him. The golden skin, broad back and bare shoulders, pale hair that was getting a little too shaggy again… this pleasant view was not a strange one to Starsky. He and Hutch had shared a bed countless times before, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of convenience – and they had slept together a lot this past year during Starsky’s recovery, when Hutch’s tricky back couldn’t stand the sofa anymore. Or when Hutch wouldn’t let him suffer alone.
But this – this was a whole ‘nother ball game.
Apparently, he and Hutch were… what? Lovers? They hadn’t been when they went to work this morning. They weren’t lovers when they went together to Simmons’s crazy holiday party, or when they walked up the stairs into this apartment four hours ago… though Starsky had to admit their intense new vibe had been humming wildly at the time.
Holy shit, he and Hutch were gettin’ it on! Hutch had kissed the hell out of him and made him come, and he clearly intended to do that again. And Starsky was losing his mind, right now, in this bed, trying to keep his hands off his partner. God, he wanted to touch him, press his chest to the smooth skin of Hutch’s back, fit his blue-covered cock against Hutch’s red-covered ass, reach around and into those boxers and roughly cradle those blond balls, whisper into Hutch’s messy hair how gorgeous he was, how hot in his hands, how much he wanted to taste every inch of that beautiful body…
Starsky sighed with frustration – then found himself grinning with joy. From the bedroom alcove, he could see the glow from Hutch’s decorated tree. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve. They had two days off from work, no obligations, no plans – other than the long-standing, unspoken plan to spend this time together.
Starsky laughed quietly, feeling giddy and excited. Hutch wasn’t the only one who got off on anticipation. He let himself roll nearer, resting a hand on Hutch’s hip, nuzzling aside the long hair at the back of Hutch’s neck before pressing a kiss to the warm skin there.
Starsky was doing his Jimmy Durante impression, singing “Frosty the Snowman” as he cranked up the flame under the percolator. He did a little soft-shoe routine over to Hutch’s refrigerator, opened the door – and stood amazed.
Beer, T-bones, bacon and eggs, berries, lox and cream cheese, a chocolate pie, three bottles of champagne… Starsky crowed with delight. “Blueberry pancakes with bacon it is, buddy,” he said. He got out eggs, butter, blueberries and bacon, and went rummaging for a couple of pans.
“Star-sky… da Snowman… was a jol-ly, happy guy,” he sang, his Durante better than ever. “Wit’ his two days off, an' his big blond blintz, lotsa beer an' chocolate pie…”
"You're wearing my shirt."
Starsky spun, and there stood Hutch. In all his glory. The old orange robe hung open, clashing badly with the holiday boxer shorts. His hair was flat on one side and sticking out on the other, his eyes were narrow and bleary, and he had pillow prints on his cheek.
Instantly, Starsky wanted him. But he simply smiled and modeled the unbuttoned dark blue shirt – which in fact matched his own boxers quite well – and said, "Yep. I stole a shirt. For modesty."
"You have shirts here."
"Eh," shrugged Starsky, "didn't feel like wearing 'em."
"Looks good on you." Hutch's voice was hoarse, and he sounded a bit gruff. He pulled a chair from the table and slumped into it. "That coffee ready?"
"Is now." Starsky poured two cups of black coffee and joined his partner at the table.
Hutch took his mug, breathed in the steam, and took a cautious sip. "God. That's good."
"Yeah, I saw you got the gourmet stuff. You stocked the kitchen pretty damn well, as a matter of fact. Three bottles of champagne, blintz." Starsky looked innocently over the rim of his cup. "Were ya planning on celebratin' something?"
Hutch's smile was half-hidden behind his coffee mug. "Well, you know. It is Christmas."
Starsky smirked. "Yeah, it is." He got up briskly. "It's Christmas Eve, and I am fixing us a big Christmas Eve breakfast. Well, more like brunch ‘cause you slept so late. But look, I’m makin’ blueberry pancakes with butter and syrup, and lots of good, greasy bacon. Hope you're hungry, pal, 'cause – "
Hutch groaned. "Oh, Christ, don't talk about grease. Shut up about food, will ya, Starsk?"
"C'mon, man, you love blueberry pancakes. I love blueberry pancakes. It's a thing we love, Hutch!"
"I don't want pancakes," muttered Hutch, rubbing his eyes. "Fuckin' Simmons."
"Hey, I told you last night, you can't blame – "
"Yeah, yeah, yeah."
Starsky looked at the crabby slob sitting at the table and tried to figure out if the guy was annoying or adorable. Tough choice. But Hutch was just being Hutch, and Starsky had been in those same morning-after shoes before and figured he could afford to be kind, so he made himself choose adorable.
He started returning stuff to the fridge. "Drink your coffee, ya big grouch. Meanwhile, I'm gonna be magnanimous and pretend you're cute when you're a crab."
"Magnanimous, huh? Five dollar word there, Gordo."
"Hutch, don't start with that shit. It's mean." Starsky slammed the refrigerator door, but it bounced back open, ruining his moment. He pressed it shut, then turned around and leaned against it, his arms crossed over his chest. He cocked his hips provocatively. "I'm gonna take a shower. You need the john?"
Hutch shook his head.
"Okay. I'll go clean up then. Breakfast can wait." Starsky walked over, trailing a hand from Hutch's ear, down his neck, and across his back as he passed. "I know how you like to wait," he said lightly. "So we're gonna wait." On his way to the bathroom, Starsky shed the blue shirt, letting it fall to the floor, then he paused to bend over and remove the boxers. He wriggled a bit to get the job done. Straightening, he pitched the underwear aside, feeling Hutch's eyes on him. He turned in the doorway, smiled sweetly, closed the door and turned the lock.
Starsky had taken his shower and was shaving with Hutch's razor when he heard a knock and a quiet voice.
"Hey, Starsk. Let me in, huh?"
"Sure." Starsky tugged his towel down until it was indecently low on his hips, then reached over to unlock the door. He resumed shaving as Hutch entered. "How ya doin', blondie?"
Starsky saw from his reflection that Hutch looked a little sheepish. Their eyes met in the mirror, and they shared a look of wry amusement. Immediately, the ever-present hum of excitement between them intensified.
Starsky rinsed the razor, wiped the shaving cream from his face with a damp towel, and turned. It was tight quarters in this room, humid with lingering steam. Hutch, who seemed to have trouble keeping his eyes off that low-slung towel, stepped closer.
"You want the shower now?" Starsky asked. His voice came lower than expected, and he cleared his throat.
"Yeah," Hutch said. He sounded husky, too. "It's my turn. I've been thinking about you in here, using my soap, using up my hot water... getting all wet, getting clean. Made me jealous." Hutch twirled a finger in one of Starsky's damp curls, used it to tug his head close, then breathed in the scent of his hair.
"Your shampoo smells like cedar," Starsky said, though he was finding it hard to form words. "I like it." His mouth was so near to that beautiful neck...
"I like it, too," Hutch whispered into his hair, into his ear. "I like the smell of it on you. I like my soap on your skin. And I like the way you wear my towel, Starsk. Looks so good here..." He drew two fingertips just above the towel in back, over the upper swells of Starsky's buttocks, dipping just slightly in between, "and here..." His fingers slid in front, from one exposed hipbone to the other, skimming the root of Starsky's cock, teasing the hair there.
That did it. Starsky moaned and let his mouth sink onto the smooth skin of Hutch's throat, working hungrily up the long column toward the lips he'd been craving – and just as he reached his delicious goal, Hutch used his curl-entwined finger to pull back Starsky's head.
"It's my turn, now," Hutch said, smiling wickedly as he untangled his hand and stepped away. "For the shower. Go ahead and finish up if you need to, just ignore me." He shrugged out of his bathrobe and hung it on the hook. Bending, he removed his boxers as Starsky had done, mooning him outrageously. Hutch reached over and turned on the shower taps, then stood, calmly testing the water with his hand.
It took Starsky a moment to recover from his shock. He shook his head once, swallowing the crazed laughter he felt bubbling up inside. Then he stepped up close behind Hutch's naked body, fitting his towel-clad erection against that bare ass. Reaching around, he drew his palms down Hutch's chest, over his hard nipples, down his abdomen, down his long thighs. "You got it," he murmured. "Enjoy your shower." He slid his hands back up, his thumbs brushing Hutch's firm balls.
Hutch's breathing hitched sharply, his body rocked back, and Starsky's cock jumped, eager for the contact. But, ruthlessly ignoring his own arousal, Starsky stepped away, giving Hutch a comradely slap on the ass.
"It's on, buddy," he said cheerfully, and, laughing, he left the room.
This is gonna be a damn fun day, thought Starsky, adjusting himself as he sauntered into the bedroom alcove. Damn fun - if my dick can survive it.
Starsky smirked when he saw that, on the freshly made bed, Hutch had laid out the dark blue shirt and boxer shorts he'd been wearing earlier – presumably a request to wear them again.
"You liked that, huh, Hutch?" Grinning, he stripped off the damp towel, donned his shorts and slipped back into Hutch's blue shirt. He was buttoning one of the lower buttons to give his hard-on a little privacy, when the scars on his chest caught his eye.
Starsky sat on the edge of the bed and looked down at himself. He'd finally stopped focusing on these in just the last month or two. Hutch, best friend and caregiver, seemed to have stopped seeing them much longer ago than that, paying them notice only in a clinical way, if they were causing discomfort.
Now, though... all morning long Starsky had been parading around bare-chested or shirtless, something he often did in front of Hutch, without thought. But today was sure as hell no ordinary day. Today they were seeing with new eyes, and... aw, damn.
Starsky sighed, fetched his damp towel from the floor, and hung it on the brass bed rail. What a lousy time to get self-conscious. Thing was, this was the first time he'd tried to look sexy, to be seductive, with this chest.
But hey, he reasoned with himself, Hutch had to know what he was getting. He was as familiar with these scars as Starsky was – and he knew the changed landscape of Starsky's back far more intimately than Starsky ever would himself.
Shrugging philosophically, Starsky dismissed both his scars and his doubts. Simple fact was, Hutch was hot for him. Starsky knew he was. And before the day was over, he was determined to set Hutch on fire.
He couldn't help grinning again, enjoying this crazy game they'd begun. Whistling, Starsky went to the kitchen, split a few bagels to toast in the oven, and made a fresh pot of coffee. He stacked some Christmas albums on the stereo, and – snapping his fingers, he thought of something he needed to do.
Starsky dashed to the bedroom, whipped off his shorts, and pulled on his jeans. Grabbing his keys, he raced downstairs and went out barefoot to fetch Hutch's presents from the Torino. His timing was perfect… he was kneeling, putting the gifts under the tree, when Hutch emerged from the bathroom.
Casually, Starsky rolled to a cross-legged position on the floor, knowing his tight, faded jeans would flatter him well. He undid the one fastened button on his shirt as he moved, so it fell fully open as he faced Hutch. “Nice shower?” he asked pleasantly.
“Very nice. And my my, look what’s waiting under the tree for me.” Hutch strode over and stood near him, towering over him, forcing Starsky to look up. Starsky was amused to see that Hutch, too, had draped his towel as low as possible on his hips.
“Copy cat,” he accused.
“Whatever works,” shrugged Hutch.
It certainly did work. Starsky had to admit it – that pale, exposed flesh and glimpse of golden hair just above the towel was doing something to him. As a side benefit, he knew the stiffening rod in his jeans was growing more and more obvious. He watched Hutch notice it; a subtle stirring under the towel was evidence of its impact.
“So, you ready for a little early-afternoon breakfast now?” asked Starsky, idly clasping his hand around Hutch’s ankle. “If not, maybe I can find something for myself to eat. Something good and hot.” He slid his hand up, cupping Hutch’s muscular calf. “You, partner, are stocked with a few things I really can’t wait to taste. Are you hungry, too, Hutch? Tell me. Tell me how much.” Starsky’s palm glided up the back of the hard thigh, up under the towel, and stayed there, fingertips caressing lightly. He met Hutch’s eyes.
There was a remote part of Starsky’s mind that was frankly startled by what he was implying – and shocked to realize he meant it. He meant it! He wanted to drag that towel down, surge up on his knees, take hold of that big –
“Come here, I’ll tell you how hungry I am,” Hutch growled. He took Starsky’s hand, pulled him up and pulled him close, wrapping an arm tight around his waist. Their groins were pressed firmly together, and it took all of Starsky’s control not to grind against that hard, impressive length. “I was thinking about you in the shower, Starsky, and you know what I decided?” Hutch leaned in, his voice low, their lips just barely brushing as he spoke. “I’m famished. I’m going to eat anything you offer me. Anything, Starsky. I’m gonna take what you give me, and savor it sooo slowly, and swallow it all, and love it. Now how does that sound to you?”
“Good,” breathed Starsky. “That sounds good.” The images in his head were driving him insane – oh God, that beautiful blond head buried between his thighs…
“You like that?” whispered Hutch against his mouth. “You want that?”
“Then tell me. What’s for breakfast, Starsk? You tell me.”
Starsky froze. That bastard, that… fuckin’… fucker. “Bagels,” he choked. “Bagels. Let go of me, asshole.” He pushed away and headed for the bedroom, rubbing the straining denim at his crotch. “Dammit! You are not winning that easily!” he called over his shoulder.
Hutch, laughing, was following close behind. “That was not easy, buddy, that was damn hard. Christ, look at the tent I got goin’ here.”
“What do you mean, no?”
“No, I ain’t lookin’ at your fuckin’ tent.”
Hutch tsked sadly. “You are a sore loser, pal.”
“Hey, I didn’t lose, pal, and I’m not going to. Now throw me my goddamn boxer shorts.”
Hutch did as he was asked. “How come you’re wearing jeans, anyway? Your dick’s strangling. Thought you were gonna wear your Hanukkah present all weekend.”
“Yeah, well, I had to go out to the car, so I changed. Didn’t want to turn on the whole neighborhood.”
“And you thought wearing those jeans would keep you from turning on the neighborhood? You, my friend, are delusional.”
“Screw you!” Starsky paused, boxers in hand. “Oh, wait. That was a compliment.”
“You bet it was.”
“Well…thanks.” He turned his back to Hutch and put on his boxers, then stood, assessing himself. “Man. This looks stupid. I wanna wear briefs.”
“Aww. Don’t do that.” Hutch came up behind him, put a hand on his shoulder, and Starsky jumped a foot.
“Don’t! Don’t – don’t touch me right now.”
“Okay, okay.” Hutch lifted his hands, pacifying. “You’re a little close to the edge, aren’t ya? Poor guy. Well, if you want to give up now, that’s fine with me.” He went to his dresser, shedding his towel on the way, and began rummaging for clean underwear.
Hutch’s cock bobbed as he moved, and Starsky was entranced. This was the first time – ever – that he’d gotten a good, clear look at that thing fully erect. The first time ever, in fact, that he’d stared boldly at his naked partner. He had to swallow a few times before he could speak.
“Hutch? You’re on the edge, too, babe,” Starsky observed softly. “You can pretend you’re not, but I know better.” He sat on the end of the bed, steeling himself. “Turn around and look at me.”
Hutch paused, then turned. They both knew that if he were to walk just two steps forward… Starsky licked his lips, and Hutch closed his eyes.
“Know what I want?” Starsky whispered. He waited for Hutch’s nod. “A bagel with lox and cream cheese.” He stood and headed for the kitchen, ruffling the damp hair on Hutch’s head as he passed him. “Meet you in the kitchen. And put your Christmas boxers back on. I’m gonna unwrap that present when I win.”
“Has it occurred to you,” said Hutch, as he spread fat free cream cheese on his bagel, “that you have an unfair advantage?”
“Yep,” said Starsky happily. “I got the advantage of having real cream cheese insteada that crap. Thank you for buying me real cream cheese so I don’t hafta eat that crap.”
“You’re welcome. Though that’s not my point.”
“What’s your point, blondie?” He took another bite of his bagel and moaned. “Oh, ohhh, this is good lox, too. God, I was starving.”
“If that bagel makes you come, I win the game.”
Starsky flipped him off.
“My point,” continued Hutch, “is that I got you off last night. This is not a level playing field, partner.”
“Bullshit. Not my fault. You know damn well I wanted to reciprocate, but you turned me down ‘cause you like to ‘wait.’ Who the hell likes to wait?”
Hutch smiled slyly at him. “You do, Starsky. You’re having fun. Admit it.”
“I feel like rippin’ your head off. Is that fun for you?”
Hutch shrugged. “That’s always been a little fun for me.”
“I thought so,” Starsky said, eyes narrowing. He cocked his head. “Hey, go flip those records over. That hiss is drivin’ me nuts.”
“Flip ‘em yourself,” said Hutch, sipping from his mug.
“I put ‘em on. You flip ‘em.” Under the table, Starsky pressed his foot against Hutch’s crotch. Hutch jerked, spilled coffee on his hand, and, swearing, jumped to his feet. “As long as you’re up,” added Starsky.
Muttering, Hutch went to the turntable and flipped the stack of records, then went to the sink and ran cold water over his hand. Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters started singing again.
“When did ya get all these old Christmas albums?” Starsky asked. “You go to second-hand stores or something? I like doing that, you shoulda let me come along.”
“I’ve always had them,” said Hutch, blowing on his knuckles. “Had ‘em since I was a kid.” He ran his hand once more under the faucet, then flicked cold water on the back of Starsky’s neck. “Just decided to get ‘em out this year.”
“Yeah?” said Starsky, ducking from the spray. He smiled up at Hutch as he returned to the table. “And what makes this year so special, huh? What, pray tell, has turned my partner into a record-playing, tree-trimming, carol-singing lover of all things Christmas?”
“Don’t forget gift-buying,” said Hutch as he sat.
“Gift-buying? Really?” Starsky sat up, unable to hide his genuine excitement. “You got some presents for me hidden around here?”
“Didn’t say they were for you, buddy.” Hutch took a bite of his bagel. “But yeah, they’re for you.”
“God, I love that, that’s great. When can we open ‘em? Now?”
“No! What kind of heathen are you? You can’t open up presents in broad daylight on Christmas Eve. Wait ‘til it’s dark at least.”
Hutch was smiling at him, and Starsky was charmed by the expression on his face. “Do you miss snow, Hutch?” Suddenly he really wanted to know the answer to that. “I miss snow sometimes.”
“Yeah, I do.” Hutch almost sounded surprised. “I miss snow. I like snow.”
Starsky propped his chin in his hand. “Did you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?”
“Christmas Eve. Church first, then dinner, then presents. That’s how all good Norwegian Lutheran Minnesotans do it.”
“Oh, yeah?” Starsky nudged Hutch’s knee with his own. “Were you a choir boy, Kenny?”
“Yep.” Hutch didn’t look shy or embarrassed. He looked proud. “Even sang solos at a few Christmas Eve services. Me and my guitar and O Holy Night.”
“Aw.” Starsky enjoyed picturing that in his head. “I’m gonna start callin’ you ‘angel’ again.”
Hutch shrugged modestly, tore a bit of lox off the plate and ate it. “Hey, you ever had lutefisk?”
“What the hell’s lutefisk?”
“Dried cod, soaked in lye. My granddad made his own, and we ate it every Christmas.”
“Hmm. Well, I’ll see your lutefisk and raise you a gefilte fish.”
“I fold,” laughed Hutch. “I actually like lutefisk. With a little melted butter, wrapped up in lefse…”
Starsky grinned, loving this talkative, nostalgic Hutch. “Now what’s lefse?”
“Kind of a, um, potato flatbread pancake thing.” Hutch was gesturing.
“Like a latke.”
“Nah, more like a tortilla made from mashed potatoes. You wrap it around lutefisk, or you eat it with cinnamon and sugar, or jam. Man,” Hutch shook his head, “I haven’t had lefse in years.”
“Let’s go get some.”
Hutch looked blankly at him.
“I’m serious. Let’s go, let’s get some.” Starsky stood up, put his plate in the sink, and dumped out his cold coffee. “Come on, we’ll go to the lefse store, you and me.”
“Starsk, what the… there is no lefse store.”
“Well, who has it then, where do ya get it?”
“I don’t know. From a Norwegian grandma?” said Hutch, confused. “If you’re suddenly desperate for lefse, I’ll call my aunt for a recipe. We could try to make some tomorrow if you want.”
“Can we?” It seemed important somehow.
“Sure.” Hutch eyed him. “You okay, Starsk?”
“Yeah.” Starsky started snapping his fingers restlessly. “I need to move, though. Think I need to move. Gimme some clothes, I’m gonna go run.”
“I’m gonna run! Gimme some sweatpants or shorts or something, will ya?”
Hutch looked at him for second. “Sure,” he said, heading for the bedroom. “I’m coming with you.” He dug in a few drawers and threw Starsky a pair of briefs, track shorts, and a t-shirt.
Starsky changed briskly and shoved his bare feet in his Adidas. “Hurry up, I gotta go. Meet ya outside.” He grinned. “I’m gonna race ya.”
They ran straight to the park, did a couple of fast laps, and fell into a basketball game with some neighborhood kids Hutch knew. When the kids deserted them for the beach, leaving their ball behind, Starsky and Hutch played one-on-one, aggressively, and with exuberance.
Starsky hadn’t felt this healthy and athletic in almost eight months. He had a hundred more aches and pains than he used to, and he knew he’d pay sorely for this exertion, but today his muscles felt terrific and working them was a joy. And Hutch wasn’t babying him! Starsky wanted to kiss him for that alone.
Laughing, he used a full-body block to foul a lay-up of Hutch’s, and went in for the rebound. Hutch, wrapping both arms around him, held him down, then stretched up one long arm to tip the ball away. They both raced for it, Starsky got the ball, and his jump-shot swished through the net.
“Ha ha! That’s 10 points, blintz! I beat you, three games to two.” He leapt up onto Hutch’s back, riding piggy-back as Hutch staggered a few steps. “Whaddaya have to say for yourself, huh?”
“Get off me, you cow,” groaned Hutch, dumping him.
Starsky bounced back up and slung an arm around Hutch’s neck. “What’s that, Hutch?” he asked softly as they walked off the court. “Did you ask me to get you off?”
“’Cause I will, Hutch. I will if you want me to. Just say the word, buddy. I’m here for ya.”
“Forget it, pal.” Hutch leaned in, whispering in his ear, “You are gonna beg me before the night’s up.”
“Think so, huh?”
“I know so, clown.”
“We’ll see about that!” Starsky released him and started trotting backwards. “Come on, I’m racing you home. Winner gets a beer. Loser gets to bring me said beer on a platter, then massage my feet.”
He turned and ran, hearing Hutch curse behind him as he picked up the pace.
It was essentially a tie, with both of them charging up the stairs, fighting over the key, and tripping through the door together. Hutch kicked it shut behind them.
“Bring me my beer,” Starsky gasped, collapsing onto the couch.
“No way.” Hutch was panting, his hands braced on his knees.
“Finish line… was the couch. …You lose, bucko.”
Hutch looked up. “You said home! You didn’t say couch! You cheat. Cheater.” He stalked over and straddled Starsky where he sat.
Now Starsky really had trouble catching his breath. He looked into Hutch’s face, and rocked up into him. They both grunted.
“You giving in to me?” asked Starsky.
Hutch shook his head.
“I’m not giving in to you, either,” Starsky informed him.
“Fine,” said Hutch. “I just came over here because I want to tell you a thing or two.”
“Gonna tell me when I can expect my beer?”
“Nope.” Hutch twined their fingers together and held their hands up against the back of the couch, on either side of Starsky’s head. He leaned in close. “I’m gonna tell you that you drive me wild when we play basketball. You make me so hot, Starsky. I think you always turned me on, every time we’d play. But I ignored it. I’m not going to ignore it anymore. And now, when we haven’t played ball together in so long… my God. You’re too much. I love your body. I love this body.” Hutch released Starsky’s hands and pulled the sweaty t-shirt off of him, tossing it aside. “I love this healthy body. I love it.” He slid off the couch and knelt, kissing Starsky’s chest. Kissing the scars.
Starsky’s eyes stung. He laid a hand on Hutch’s head and paid attention to every soft touch of his lips.
Hutch rested his forehead for a moment on Starsky’s breastbone, then sat back on his heels. “That’s what I wanted to tell you.”
Starsky just smiled at him. He didn’t feel like speaking yet.
“Now I’m gonna get your beer,” said Hutch, getting to his feet, “and then I’m gonna shower, ‘cause I smell. Then you can shower. But you just relax a while, okay? Take it easy, rest a little. I’ll be out soon.”
When Starsky emerged later, clean and damp, his towel once again strategically wrapped as low as possible around him, he found his partner standing by the glowing Christmas tree, twirling an ornament with his finger, watching it catch the light. Hutch, delightfully, was wearing the exact same post-shower costume.
“Playin’ with your balls?” asked Starsky, and Hutch chuckled. Starsky came up behind him and put his hands on Hutch’s bare hips. “I am so glad you didn’t put clothes on,” he murmured. “I like you in this towel, big guy. You should wear it every day. Wear it to work, to The Pits, the grocery store, the movies….”
Hutch grabbed his hands, pulled them around his waist, and held them there. Starsky could feel a new level of tension and excitement between them, and it thrilled him. Neither of them would last long now. This was the endgame…
“I’m glad it’s getting dark out,” Starsky said, nuzzling the side of Hutch’s neck. “You are gorgeous in this light, angel. And I hear we get to unwrap things after dark.” He could feel the vibration against his lips when Hutch hummed with anticipation. “You ready for that, Hutch? You ready to be unwrapped and played with? Want me to wind you up and make you go?”
“Mmm, I’m ready, Starsk.” Hutch was guiding their clasped hands over the planes of his own chest. “So ready to hear you beg…”
“Try and make me,” Starsky softly challenged. Under his palms, he could feel hard muscle, taut nipples, soft, sparse hair… His right hand was carried up to Hutch’s slightly bristled cheek. Hutch turned his head and kissed the palm… then brought that hand directly to his towel-draped erection.
“This is for you, Starsky,” Hutch said. “Whenever you want it. However you want it.” Their joined right hands started pressing, stroking. “Christ, feel how hard I am for you. Been waiting all day. You want to put your hands on me? Just ask. You wanna suck me? Just ask.” Hutch’s head fell back onto Starsky’s shoulder. “Y-you wanna slide your cock next to mine, hot and hard and tight inside my hands…you… just ask me…”
Starsky groaned. Oh God, that huge rod was hot under his palm… Hutch’s ass was driving his dick wild… and his nipples were so hard, rubbing against Hutch’s back… “I’m not begging,” Starsky grated. He grabbed Hutch’s cock roughly, to hear him moan. “Sounds like you are, babe. You’re on fire for me, aren’t ya? Oh, yeah, listen to you, so needy. Moan again, Hutch. Moan again, and you’re saying yes… yes, Starsky, you win…”
Hutch shook his head, twice, quickly. His chest was heaving like a bellows, but he refused to make a sound. Suddenly he pushed away, fighting out of Starsky’s arms, and the two of them squared off, facing each other, panting.
Oh my God, thought Starsky, staring at him. “Hutch, you’re the hottest thing I’ve ever seen,” he gasped.
Hutch appeared dazed. It seemed to take a while for those words to register, before he could stammer, “I… have never w-wanted anyone, anything, the way I want you. Starsky, I… you…”
They both looked up, shocked. They had said the words simultaneously.
“I win!” they said in unison. They looked wonderingly at each other.
Starsky plowed into Hutch and drove him against the nearest wall. “I told you last night how I was gonna have you first,” he said feverishly. He ripped the towel away and grabbed hold. “Up against the wall, with your cock in my fist and your balls in the palm of my hand.” He plunged his tongue into Hutch's mouth, then came up briefly for air. "And your hands on my ass," he reminded, then surged back into the kiss.
Hutch tore off Starsky’s towel and planted his hands as directed, squeezing hard.
“Yeah,” groaned Starsky between desperate kisses. “You’re practically there already, aren’t ya? You wanna get off so bad, been waitin’ so long. God, feel those balls. Ah, God, you’re so hot and wet…” Starsky slid his thumb around the tip of that big cock, and Hutch’s head banged against the wall. “You’re gonna come any second, aren’t ya, partner? Aren’t ya?”
Hutch couldn’t reply with anything beyond a whimper.
“Do it. Do it. Come for me, Hutch. Kiss me and come for me.” Their open mouths fused and Starsky swallowed Hutch’s hoarse shouts, crushing against him, feeling the convulsive shuddering and the spreading wet heat between them.
When Hutch’s knees gave out, they sank to the floor, fell over and lay still, gasping, with Starsky sprawled on top.
Hutch started to laugh.
“What? What the hell.” Starsky lifted his head and looked down at him. “What’re you laughin’ for? Shut up.”
Hutch shook his head, unable to stop. “You… you… are going to be so much fun. Oh my God, Starsk. I think I’ve been wanting you forever.”
“And you find that hilarious.”
Hutch plunged his hands into Starsky’s hair and pulled him down. “Hilarious,” he said, kissing him. “Wonderful, amazing… God, you’re what I want. You’re who I want.”
“Okay, then,” smiled Starsky. “Good thing you got me.”
Hutch rolled them over and rocked their hips together. “Your turn, buddy. How do you want it?”
Starsky had grabbed hold of Hutch’s ass and was bucking up into him. “Man, you’re gonna get me off just doin’ this. Wow. I must be pretty hot for your bod, blondie.”
“Of course you are,” Hutch grinned. “Look at me, it’s only natural.”
Starsky laughed. “Narcissist.” He actually sort of liked it when Hutch said shit like that. Because his partner never talked like that to anyone but him.
Hutch twisted his hips a little, and Starsky closed his eyes with a groan. “Tell me, Starsk. Tell me how you want it.”
“God! S-surprise me.”
Hutch lowered his head and whispered in his ear. “Come with me.”
“No, dummy, come with me. As in, get up and go where I tell you.” Hutch sprang to his feet, and Starsky looked dazedly up at him. “Come on, come on,” Hutch said impatiently, reaching down and hauling him to his feet. “Follow me.” He towed Starsky by the hand through the kitchen and over to the greenhouse door. “Close your eyes.”
Starsky heard the door open and close, and felt the cool evening air on his skin. He grinned. His dick loved being naked outdoors, always had. “Lucky boy,” he murmured.
Starsky opened his eyes, and Hutch flipped a switch. Lights had been strung on the walls, the plants, the lattice roof…
“Blue and white,” said Hutch. “Christmas lights in Hanukkah colors. Best of both worlds.” Hutch goosed him. “Like you.”
“Ha ha!” Delighted, Starsky gave him a shove. “Blintz, you old romantic.”
“Yep, that’s me,” said Hutch, leading him over to the mattress on the floor. “Wanna know how romantic I am? Lay down. I’m gonna blow you out here.”
“Yes,” cheered Starsky, as he flopped onto his back. “I been dreamin’ about this all day. Man, Hutch, you almost won the game before breakfast, teasin’ me with this.”
“I did, didn’t I?” Hutch said smugly, crawling on top of him and straddling his hips.
“Hey.” Starsky looked up, suspicious. “You ever done this before?”
“You seem pretty damn confident for a novice.”
Hutch shrugged. “I’ve been an enthusiastic observer of the technique for years.”
“Excellent. Dazzle me, hot shot.”
Hutch paused, then leaned in and kissed him, blocking out the lights for a moment. It wasn’t a frantic kiss, like earlier, but an almost contemplative one. “I like the way you look out here,” Hutch explained. “The way the lights shine down on you. When I strung these up the other day, I pictured you this way. I like your face.”
Starsky chuckled. “I like your face, too, handsome. Now tell me how you feel about my dick.”
“Your dick and I are only passing acquaintances, Starsk. But I have a feeling we’ll be good friends.”
“He likes you, too. Go say hello.”
“So impatient,” said Hutch, tracing Starsky’s jaw line with his finger. “I’ll get there when I get there. Haven’t you learned yet how nice it is to anticipate?”
“Yes,” agreed Starsky, “and I have been anticipating the hell out of this all damn day. Suck me, baby.”
“All right, I will. But I’m starting up here.” Hutch bent down and nosed through Starsky’s curls. “I’m sucking this first,” he murmured, flicking Starsky’s earlobe with his tongue before drawing it into his mouth.
Starsky hummed happily and slid his hands into Hutch’s hair. He intended to keep them tangled in that beautiful blondness the whole time, feeling the motions of Hutch’s head as he traveled along his body, from his ear… down his throat… up to his mouth… Hutch nibbled and sucked on Starsky’s lower lip, then dived in to kiss him roughly, leaving Starsky gasping.
“Yeah… oh, yeah,” Starsky encouraged when Hutch moved down to his chest. “Suck ‘em, Hutch. Tongue ‘em.” He couldn’t stop himself from arching up, moaning when Hutch teased one erect nipple after the other… closing his teeth on them, flicking with the tip of his tongue, then licking and sucking hard.
“Yeah, yeah, oh yeah, babe, that’s good,” Starsky babbled. “Wanted your mouth on me all day, wanted this so bad…” He writhed under Hutch, starting to feel desperate. His hands tightened in Hutch’s hair as he tried to keep himself from pushing that incredible mouth where he most wanted it to go.
Then, finally, Hutch was on the move again, and Starsky’s excitement climbed. There were kisses down his sternum… a tongue plunged in and out of his navel… a wet trail was drawn from hipbone to hipbone, and then lower, lower…
Hutch rose and drew back, repositioning himself, settling between Starsky’s legs. He knelt there a moment, stroking lightly up and down Starsky’s thighs.
Starsky looked up at him, hands flailing. “Come ‘ere,” he gasped, “come ‘ere. I need to touch you, I want your head in my hands.”
“In a minute,” Hutch soothed. He stroked a little higher, brushing Starsky’s balls, and Starsky moaned, knees spreading wantonly, cock pointing at the sky.
Hutch smiled down at him, and took his balls in hand, rolling them.
“Yeahhh, play with ‘em, I love that,” Starsky whispered. “Gonna eat me now, gonna suck me? Hutch. What… what are you waitin’ for?” Starsky was losing control, thrusting up into thin air. “Hutch, Hutch… suck me! God! Come on, come on,” he breathed, pulling on Hutch’s hands, “come on, suck me, I need ya to… now, come on, please …Hutch, please!”
“Told you you’d beg,” Hutch said, and taking hold of Starsky’s cock, he leaned in and swirled his tongue around the leaking tip before engulfing it whole.
Starsky cried out, instantly grasping Hutch’s head in his hands. Looking down, just seeing that blond head so busy between his thighs, almost finished him. Hutch was working him hard, with lots of glorious suction, but suddenly he was released… and Hutch started licking and sucking his balls, pumping his cock steadily with his hand.
“God! Yes. Yes. I… I’m gonna…”
“No, you’re not,” Hutch said, and backed off. Starsky wanted to curse, or cry, but after a moment he felt a wonderful, long, broad lick up the underside of his cock… a little teasing in-and-out action just on his head… a few playful laps from Hutch’s tongue…
“God, look at you,” breathed Starsky. “Look at you doin’ me.” He petted the blond hair gently, but when Hutch suddenly sucked him in hard, his arousal peaked and he arched, grabbing fistfuls. Hutch’s big hands slid up his body, and Starsky felt thumbs brushing his nipples just before they were pinched, hard.
He bucked up into Hutch’s mouth and came, groaning, trying not to thrust too deeply, but knowing it was a losing battle.
Hutch was drinking him down, swallowing him, and Starsky forced his eyes open to watch. It was so hot and so beautiful to see, he wanted to bawl. And God love him, the guy knew just when to stop, just when his dick was too sensitive to take any more.
When Hutch lifted his head, Starsky pulled him upward and went straight for his mouth, kissing him deeply, tasting himself. Then he kissed Hutch’s cheekbones, and his eyes, his forehead, hair, temples, jaw, chin, and his sweet, wonderful lips again, before wrapping him in a tight embrace.
How many times in his life had he hugged Hutch? Couple hundred, a thousand? But never before had they been stark naked, never before lying together with legs entwined, sated and happy because Hutch had gone down on him and blown him sky high.
Starsky started to laugh.
“What?” said Hutch, starting to struggle in his arms. “Don’t laugh. What’d I do?”
“You gave me a blow job, Hutch!”
“Well, you don’t have to laugh at me, dammit, I’m new at this.”
Hutch was trying to shove at him, but Starsky just tightened his hold. “You gave me a blow job! You, Sergeant Hutchinson, my partner, my best friend, you just sucked the hell out of my cock.”
“I know. I was there.”
“Well, come on!” laughed Starsky. “Isn’t that great? God, that’s great.” He pulled back a little so he could smile into Hutch’s eyes. “You are great. You amaze me. You’re amazing to me.” Starsky had to taste those lips again. He took his time and did it with care; he felt so full of affection and awe he thought his heart might break.
When they drew apart, Hutch grinned at him. “I’d say it’s time for champagne. Wait here.”
“Ain’t goin’ nowhere,” sighed Starsky, contented. He lay still, completely relaxed, looking up at the blue and white lights above until Hutch returned with two glasses and two bottles.
Sitting cross-legged on the mattress, Hutch thought for second, then set aside the glasses. “Here,” he said, handing Starsky a bottle. “You blow my cork, I’ll blow yours.”
“Ha! I like how you think,” said Starsky, sitting up. “Let’s do this.” They managed to time things pretty well, and, strategically aimed, the corks blew seconds apart, flying across to the back greenhouse wall.
They exchanged bottles, then looked at each other, waiting for a toast.
Hutch went first. “Here’s to shooting off like a Roman candle after a day of perpetual arousal.”
“Hear, hear!” Starsky clinked their bottles. “I’ll drink to that.” The champagne was cold and delicious, and he was thirsty as hell. He chugged some and felt it hit his belly and his head almost at once. “God, that’s good. But you better feed me a T-bone and a chocolate pie real soon, buddy, ‘cause this is goin’ straight to my head.”
“You got it,” said Hutch. “Now propose a toast.”
Starsky thought for a moment, considered a few phrases, and abandoned them. Finally, “Here’s to you,” he said.
Hutch looked quizzically at him. “Come on, Starsk –”
“You makin’ fun of my toast?”
“Well, no, but –“
“Then drink to it. Here’s to you, Hutch.” He held out his bottle and waited for his partner to touch it with his. He did, and they drank.
“Thanks,” said Hutch. He was clearly moved.
“You’re welcome. Now I got another dedication to make. Lean back a little, I wanna look at your enormous manhood for this one.”
Hutch laughed, and blushed, and complied.
Starsky reached over and poured cold, bubbling champagne all over Hutch’s naked lap. “That’s your punishment for makin’ me beg.” Ignoring Hutch’s outraged yelp, he set his bottle aside. “And this, tiger, is your reward for makin’ me beg.” Pushing Hutch back onto the mattress, Starsky settled himself in to drink.
“Hey, motor mouth,” Hutch said as they ate a late dinner by the light of the Christmas tree, a stack of records playing in the background. “Just for future reference. You always that talkative in the sack?”
Starsky just smiled, shrugging, and ate another piece of steak. Under the table, he slid his foot up Hutch’s calf.
“Never had such a running commentary during sex before.”
Starsky stopped chewing and looked up. “You complainin’?”
“Not at all.” Hutch shook his head. Idly, he was gliding his fingers up and down the neck of his champagne bottle, occasionally circling the opening. “You’re hotter than sin, Starsk. I could listen to you all night. In fact, right now, I can barely stop myself from crawling over this table to get at you.”
Starsky eyed Hutch for signs of sarcasm and was delighted when he saw none. “Rein yourself in, stallion,” he said, trying not to grin. “Lemme eat my dinner for cripe’s sake, I gotta keep up my strength. Then you can have your way with me on top of the table if you want, or under it, or in the sack, whatever floats your boat. …Oh my God, Hutch, if you keep doing that with your hand…”
“That – that – that – thing you’re doing, I’m gonna…”
“Dammit.” Starsky shoved their plates over to the edge of the table – he couldn’t quite bring himself to sweep perfectly good T-bones to the floor in a grand gesture – and crawled up onto the small table, knee-walking across to Hutch. He took Hutch’s hand from the champagne bottle and placed it demandingly on himself.
“You’re so easy,” murmured Hutch with satisfaction. He fondled Starsky lightly, then ran both hands behind, up into the legs of Starsky’s boxers, cupping his ass. He pressed his face to Starsky’s groin and began mouthing him through the cotton.
Starsky stroked his bare shoulders. “I’m easy, huh?”
“So easy. Eeeeasy. Mmm, I’m going to have fun getting under your skin…”
“Speaking of skin,” Starsky said, “if you reach inside this h-handy sss-slit here…”
Hutch didn’t reach in. He pulled the waistband down, letting the elastic snap up under Starsky’s sac. Starsky hissed as his cock and balls were lifted, on display.
“Dessert!” said Hutch, digging in.
Starsky’s head fell back as he gripped Hutch’s shoulders tightly for balance. “Does that mean… ahhh!… I get your half of the pie?”
Hutch nodded, humming agreeably. Starsky moaned.
“…Santa Baby… so hurry down the chimney tonight.” Starsky was singing along to the record, holding aloft two glasses of champagne as he did a slinky dance over to where Hutch lounged on the couch. “Think of all the fun I’ve missed, think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed…” He straddled Santa’s lap. “…Next year I could be just as good—”
The rest of the lyrics were lost in Hutch’s mouth. Starsky kissed him back eagerly, managing not to spill a drop.
“Heard your Jimmy Durante this morning,” Hutch said, drawing back. “Think I like your Eartha Kitt better.”
“I do ‘em all, blintz, wanna hear? Burl Ives, Gene Autry, Bingo, Sinatra… I do a hell of a Dinah Shore. In a duet with Doris Day.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” said Hutch, accepting a glass. “Oh, look, we’re being civilized now. No more drinking from the bottle?”
“We’re not cretins.”
They touched glasses and drank. Starsky climbed off and sat beside him, thigh pressed to thigh.
“How are you feeling?” asked Hutch. “You feel okay?”
“Yeah, I feel terrific.”
“It’s been a pretty, uh, physical day, Starsk – ”
“You can say that again,” Starsky chuckled. “Best day ever. I feel like a million bucks, Hutch – honest.” He patted his partner’s leg and leaned against him comfortably. “Your tree’s pretty.”
“Thanks,” smiled Hutch. “I like it, too.”
“What got into you this year, huh? My big Scroogey Grinch turned into Kenny the Christmas King. It was weird.”
Hutch touched his hand. “I thought you’d like that, Starsk.”
“You kiddin’ me? I loved it. Felt like I was in the Twilight Zone, but I loved it.” Starsky moved, pulling a knee up on the couch to face his partner. “When you were talkin’ about Christmas during breakfast, Hutch… you looked so happy and nice. How come you stopped liking the holidays, huh? I think you used to love ‘em.”
“Well, sure.” Hutch shrugged. “Every kid likes Christmas. I guess I just… grew up.” He sipped his drink. “My dad and I started arguing a lot during the war, about politics, money, ambition.... He was pompous and conservative, and I was pompous and idealistic, and we stopped seeing eye-to-eye about… pretty much everything.” He sighed. “I love my family, but… well, you know how we are. We live in different worlds. Anyway, I was a junior in college the first time I didn’t go home for the holidays. Then a few years later, I married Vanessa.”
“Yeah. She taught me a few things.”
“I bet she did.”
“Over the years, Christmas just… stopped being beautiful.” Hutch toyed with one of Starsky’s curls. “This year, it’s beautiful.”
“I think I know why.” Starsky traced the shape of Hutch’s mouth with his thumb. “Been a hell of a year, huh? But I’m still around, and you’re grateful.”
Hutch shook his head. “Starsky, I can’t… describe how grateful. I don’t have the words to, to, to... oh, my God.” Hutch brought their foreheads together and rested there for a time. When he lifted his head, his eyes were bright, and he was smiling. “I am so grateful. But that’s not why I’m hanging lights and buying presents.”
“No. Starsky! You want to open some presents?”
“Do I wanna open presents, he asks.” Starsky gave his partner a playful shove. “Yes, I wanna open presents.” He slid off the couch, crawled over to the tree and sat, patting the floor beside him. “Get over here, babe, and get what’s comin’ to ya.”
“Give me a minute, give me a minute.” Hutch disappeared in the bathroom and emerged with three wrapped gifts. “Behind the towels in the cupboard. Did you think to look there?”
“I don’t understand. Are you inferring that I hunt for Christmas gifts?”
“No, dummy, I’m not ‘inferring’. I’m not even implying. I’m stating it as hard fact.” Hutch sat and unceremoniously handed Starsky a present. “Here. You go first.”
Starsky grinned, shaking the thin, foot-square package next to his ear. “Doesn’t rattle, not very heavy, doesn’t smell edible or alive. What could it be? I’m so excited, Hutch.”
“Just open the damn thing.”
Starsky tore into the gift and tossed the paper over his shoulder. He stared at what he’d been given, then stared up at the giver.
“I know you like Chagall’s stuff,” Hutch said, fiddling with the ribbon on one of the packages he still held, “and you like a lot of color in your apartment, so I figured… This is sort of inspired by some of his flower paintings. You know?”
Starsky nodded. “Oh man,” he said softly, “we’re in this.”
“Yeah. See, this is all the flowers people sent here when you got out of the hospital and that’s… us, there in the margin, just getting home. You remember?”
“It was incredible, the place was filled.” Starsky couldn’t take his eyes from the brilliant strokes and eddies of color on the canvas. “You sneezed for a week, poor guy, you musta been miserable.”
“I wasn’t miserable,” Hutch said. “I wasn’t miserable. …So… do you…”
Starsky looked up. “Hutch, you painted this!”
Hutch shrugged, looking pleased.
“You are… unbelievable, partner. I love it, it’s beautiful. You’re beautiful. How am I supposed to top a great gift like this? Jeez.” Starsky reached under the tree. “Here, here’s one for you. It’s a shirt.”
“Well, don’t tell me!” scolded Hutch, tearing at the wrapping and opening the box. “Aw, look, it’s a shirt.”
“Yep. It’s green. I like you in green. Saw it and bought it.”
“That’s very thoughtful.”
“Touch it, it’s soft. Don’t put it on!” Starsky snatched the shirt away and ran his palm appreciatively over Hutch’s chest. “I like you in skin better than I like you in green.”
Hutch stopped his hand. “Watch it, Romeo. If you get too fresh I’ll get distracted, and you won’t get your other presents. You want your other presents?”
“Then behave. Here’s your next gift. And thank you for my shirt. I can’t wait to wear it.”
“Tough, you have to wait,” said Starsky as he unwrapped. “Ooh, this one rattles, it’s heavy. It’s… oh, oh, wow!”
“Like it?” grinned Hutch.
“Robert the Robot? Hutch! How did you – how did—” Starsky pulled his toy out of the box and gazed at it. He turned the crank in back and recited along. “’I am Robert Robot, mechanical man. Drive me and steer me, wherever you can.’ Hutch! Where – how – Look at him! Did you look? See, he’s got little tools inside, so I can fix him. And he moves back and forth if you squeeze this thing." Starsky looked up from his demonstration in wonder. “How did… I wanted this toy! When I was nine years old I wanted this so bad, but we couldn’t – how did –”
“I called your mother up,” Hutch laughed. “Asked her if there was ever anything—”
Starsky didn’t let him finish. He launched himself, knocking Hutch over, diving into a deep, exuberant kiss. “Ha ha!” crowed Starsky when he surfaced, “You got me Robert the Robot! Mechanical man!” He combed through Hutch’s hair with his fingers. “You are somethin’ else, blondie. I really dig you, you know?”
“Ohhh, yeah.” Starsky kissed him again, then crawled off his chest. “Man, that is just… wow. Okay, your turn again. My turn to give you something that can’t measure up. Here, take it. It’s a necklace.”
“Quit telling me!” Hutch tore off the paper and opened the box, revealing a greenish stone pendant on a silver chain.
“It’s a moss agate,” said Starsky. “When I was buying it, the lady started feeding me a load of… information about how it’s supposed to – ”
“Open minds and balance emotions,” murmured Hutch, touching the stone with his finger.
“Yeah, exactly! And guess what, it also heals bad backs, and helps plants grow, and makes you run faster, and, I dunno, walks your dog and does your laundry. I just thought it’d look nice with the shirt I got ya, but the more crazy shit she told me, the more perfect it sounded.”
“It is perfect,” said Hutch, pulling it from the box and opening the clasp. “I really love this, Starsky.”
“Let me do that.” Starsky took the necklace from him. “I kinda had a little fantasy about putting this on you…” He moved in close, and Hutch leaned his forehead against his shoulder. Starsky clasped the chain around his neck, then wrapped his arms around him. “Got a confession,” Starsky whispered in his ear. “I like when you wear necklaces. Turns me on.” He stroked Hutch’s back. “Even years ago, sometimes I’d find myself staring… at your throat, at the way the chain looked against your skin… Aw, Hutch,” he sighed. “I think I’ve had it bad for you for a while.”
“Me, too,” Hutch whispered back.
Starsky loved how relaxed his partner felt against him. He drew a hand down Hutch’s smooth back, then slid up, under the necklace’s chain and into his blond hair. They stayed quiet for a while before Hutch sat back and took a breath.
“Okay, one more.” He handed Starsky the last box.
“It’s a sweater,” Starsky guessed, shaking it. “A really light sweater.”
“Nope. Open it.”
Starsky tore away the wrapping, opened the box, and started digging through the tissue paper inside. “Where’s the… wait.” He lifted up an envelope and looked suspiciously at Hutch.
“Merry Christmas,” said Hutch.
Starsky opened the envelope and read:
A tree has been planted in your name, right in my living room.
Thank you for making me happy. I love you, Starsky.
He looked up.
“I love you, Starsky,” Hutch said. “I love you. I’m so in love with you I’m decorating trees, hanging lights, buying robots… I, I play Bing Crosby records and sing along!” He laughed, spreading his hands, looking helpless. “I never stop thinking about you. I want to be with you all the time, I want you all the time, I, I, I – ”
“You’re euphoric,” smiled Starsky, touching the pendant around Hutch’s neck. “And sentimental.”
“Yes! I quoted It’s a Wonderful Life at Simmons’ party, Starsk. I got you champagne and blueberries and boxer shorts. I…I….”
“You love me.”
“I love you. God, I love you so much.”
“Well, guess what, partner.” Starsky pulled on the necklace, bringing him nearer. “I love you, too.”
Starsky nodded. “Yep. I’m crazy about ya, Hutch.” He kissed him, slowly and repeatedly. “As far as I can figure… I am hearts-and-flowers… birds-and-bees… crazy in love with you.”
“In love,” clarified Hutch.
“In love,” confirmed Starsky. “In pretty deep. Hip-deep, at least.”
Hutch grinned. “That’s all? I’m way-over-my head, can’t-touch-the bottom, help-me-I’m-drowning--”
“Aw, you poor sap. You got it bad, don’t ya?” Starsky shook his head. “Buddy, if it’ll help, you can touch my bottom whenever you want.”
“Well, Merry Christmas to me!” laughed Hutch, and he carried them down into the pile of gift-wrap and tissue.
“Wait, wait, wait! Not now,” said Starsky, struggling away, “Get off, I want to play with my robot.”
“Oh, for… are you kidding me?”
“Hutch, I have wanted this toy since I was nine. Calm down, we got all night.” He cast Hutch a wicked glance. “Enjoy the anticipation.”
“God. Fine, have fun.” Grunting, Hutch pushed himself to his feet. “Guess I’ll go play with my new shirt. Hey. You want some chocolate pie?”
“Of course I do.” Starsky was sprawled on his stomach, checking out Robert’s inner workings.
“Want me to bring it in here?”
“Yeah, that’d be good. Ha! Hutch, lookit his teeny screwdriver!”
“Starsk, ya wanna get naked and eat chocolate pie off each other under the Christmas tree?”
“Hell, yes,” said Starsky. He put Robert in his box and closed the lid.