Vertigo – by Kirsty Welsh and Brook. Yes, you know the score - Brook made me, honest! This story was written because we wanted to answer a few questions. Why is Starsky so afraid of heights? And why does he often seem to limp? Ever wondered? Well, we hope we've answered those questions.

Chapter 1

The young, curly haired boy closed the door to the house softly behind him and stepped out into the silent tree lined street. He didn’t want a fuss. He didn’t want his aunt to be there, mussing his carefully combed hair and covering him in kisses. He wanted some peace and quiet and time to assimilate what had happened to him. It had been so quick – the move. And now he had to settle into the new neighbourhood and a new school.

The 14 year old David Starsky had been moved from his comfortable home in Brooklyn New York to Bay City California on what he regarded as a whim and a betrayal of the trust he’d had in his Mom. He’d not wanted to move. He’d had no say in the matter. And after the night in police cells, his Mom hadn’t even allowed him to go back home to chose what to pack and to say goodbye to his brother and his friends. God knows what they’d think of him, and truth to tell he hadn’t been very good company these last two weeks, but he still needed to have some closure. He still felt he’d been whisked away without the opportunity to explain himself, or to persuade his Mom that he knew he’d done wrong and he would never let her down again.

It had all started 6 weeks ago, when on a rainy, cold night there had been a knock at the door of the apartment he shared with his Mom and Dad and his brother, Nicholas. His Mom had frozen at the knock, expecting trouble. Her husband had gone to work as usual for the evening shift in the notorious Queens District and he had kissed her on the cheek, wished her a good night and gone out the front door. Nothing earth shattering there, except that Michael Marvin Starsky was a cop. And cops in Queens had one of the toughest areas in the country to patrol and short life expectancies.

So when his Mom had gone to answer the door both David and Nicky had braced themselves for bad news. They heard voices, a man’s a woman’s and then they heard the muted scream, followed by a sob and his Mom came back into the living room supported by two of his Dad’s friends. At that point the two boys realised that something was terribly wrong.

Paula McCafferty, a woman police officer had come to sit between the two of them and she put her arms around them both and hugged them to her protectively. As David looked at her he could see tears shining in her eyes and his heart hammered in his chest. He’d always been so proud that his Dad was a cop, even though it lead some of the other boys at school to mock him, and he’d come away with bruised knuckles and the odd black eye. But he also knew that doing the job his Dad had was dangerous and that some day something bad may happen to him.

‘Its Dad isn’t it?’ he said, his voice remarkably level, considering his youth and the tension in the room.

Nicky, two years his junior, let out a wail and hugged Paula tighter.‘No, not Dad. Please not Dad’ he sobbed, burying his face into the police woman’s jacket.

David looked at his Mom, who was sitting with quiet dignity by the side of Sid Hallam, one of his Dad’s best friends. He got up and crossed the small room, kneeling down in front of the tiny woman and looking up into her face.

‘Is Dad dead?’ he asked.

‘Yes son. He was shot in a drive by’ Sid said gently as the blue eyed boy put his arms protectively around his surviving parent and pulled her into a hug.

‘S’ok Mom’ David said as he buried his face into her hair and hugged her close. ‘S’ok, I’ll sort everything’. There were no tears. He was the man of the house now and he needed to be brave for his Mom and for Nicky.

The two officers stayed a while, making cups of tea, comforting the family and telling them the outline of what had gone down. Michael had gone to work as usual, picked his partner Rod up at the station and had set off downtown in their patrol car. They been cruising for perhaps half an hour when they got a call to a robbery at a drug store in one of the seedier areas of their patch. With mars lights flashing and sirens wailing, they made it to the drug store quickly and just in time to see a guy wearing jeans and a bright red tee-shirt and with bright orange hair leaving, a bag slung over his shoulder.

Michael and Rod got out of the car, hunkering down by the sides of the open doors and Michael Starsky was preparing to cover his partner, when around the corner a large black pick up truck screeched, bearing down on the two cops. As it drew level, and without giving Michael chance to move or protect himself, the robber’s accomplice leaned out of the driver’s side window and shot five times, each bullet piercing Starsky senior’s body so that he slumped, dead before he hit the ground, by the wheel arch of the car.

His partner, Rod had been left relatively unscathed, a flesh wound to his thigh being the only physical wound, but he’d been hospitalised with shock, believing that he was somehow to blame because he hadn’t watched his partner’s back. Sid explained that there would be an inquiry, that all the guys in the squad room were there for Rachel Starsky should she need anything, and that she need only ask.

Acting as the man of the house, David had courteously shown Sid and Paula to the door assuring them that he would be fine and that he could look after his Mom. Then he’d closed the door, organised Nicky to go to bed, made his Mom another cup of tea and stayed with her. Eventually he’d gone to bed too. And then (and only then) did he allow himself the luxury of tears as he cried into the dark for the Dad he’d lost and the pain he, Nicky and his Mom would have to bear.

Five harrowing days later, at the end of a funeral service conducted in driving rain and a bitter wind David and Nicky escorted their Mom back to the house. Both boys looked older than their years, dressed in their black suits, white shirts and black ties. Nicky had cried most days since his father’s death and David had heard his Mom, late at night, sobbing in her bedroom, emerging next morning with a pale face and heavy eyes and slowly the cold hand of anger had gripped at his heart.

While everyone was gathered in his living room for the wake after the funeral, he ducked upstairs, changed into his jeans, tee shirt and sneakers and let himself quietly out of the house. His neighbours, Tony and Patricia Goldstein were busy with his Mom, keeping the food and the tea coming and David let himself into their house. He knew what he wanted. He knew where to find it and he went quickly to the gun cabinet hidden beneath the stairs, Breaking open the door, he took the small handgun and expertly checked the magazine, snaffling a handful of bullets. His Dad had shown him how to look after guns and even how to fire them in the safety of a firing range, but now he was out on the hunt.

Vendetta! That’s what he was – a vigillante out to avenge his Dad and as he sat quietly on the bus on his way to Queens, he felt the cold chunk of metal nestling in the waistband of his jeans.

Getting off the bus near the drug store that Sid had described, he started to look around him for any sign of an orange haired guy, or a big black pick up. He had no real idea what he was doing, it was just the burning desire for revenge in the pit of his stomach that drove the brave boy onwards. He prowled the streets, collar up against the wind and rain, hand on the gun in his waistband, but saw no-one that looked like his Dad’s killer.

He was beginning to give up hope of finding anyone that day when he was shocked by the screech of tires at his side and the two cops jumping out of the car into his path. Sid and Paula had had a heart broken call from Rachel Starsky that David was missing. They’d put two and two together and had luckily made four and had found the young boy just where they thought he’d be.

Paula grabbed hold of David and spun him round as Sid expertly patted him down, finding Tony’s gun immediately. They treated him like any other criminal they’d find on the street and he remained tight lipped as they cuffed his hands and bundled him into the back of the black and white. David remained sullen and silent as they drove him back to his Dad’s precinct and took him down to the cells, where they locked him up for the night. It had all been arranged when Rachel had reported him missing. Sid had told her that he’d suspected the hot headed teenager might try to take the law into his own hands, and that being treated to a night in the local lock up, protected by his Dad’s friends might be just what young David needed. No charges were pressed, but Rachel had agreed that a short, sharp shock might be what her hot-tempered son required. And while he remained in the lock up she’d telephoned her sister in Bay City to see if she could take him out of harms way.

Rosey had agreed and early the next day, before Rachel had time to change her mind, she and Nicky came to collect David from the precinct and take him directly to the station, putting him on the next bus to Bay City.

David had been angry at his Mom and at the same time releived when he’d been released from the cell. He’d been on his own all night, but the sound of the drunks in the next cell and the almost continual clanging of bars and jangling of keys had stopped him getting any sleep. Not that he could have slept anyway. He knew he’d done wrong, and what upset him most was that he’d let his Mom down too, when she was relying on him to be the man of the house.

Rachel had told him that for his own safety she was sending him to stay with her sister and he’d flatly refused to go, telling his Mom time and again that he was sorry and for her not to send him away. But the tiny Jewish woman had hardened her heart and held back the tears. She’d told Davey that she didn’t want him to end up in a coffin like his Dad and that she’d rest easier if he was in the relative safety of Bay City. He’d protested and said he’d run away and come back to her, and she’d finally broken down, sobbing against his chest as he held her. It was then he realised the depth of her love for him, and although he hated that he had to go away, he couldn’t bring himself to argue further with her.

He was, however, more than a little upset that she didn’t allow him back to the apartment, instead bundling him into Sid’s car and waiting with him until the Greyhound Bus arrived. He stood on the steps and kissed her, refusing to cry and as the bus pulled away. she waved a sad goodbye to her eldest boy.

David had sat on the bus staring at his hands as the engine took him further and further from the family he’d always known. He knew he’d been foolish. He knew he’d done wrong and that he’d upset his Mom more than she really showed. He hated himself for adding more hurt onto the woman he loved so dearly and there and then he vowed that one day he’d make her proud of him.

The journey had been long and even though Rosey and Al had been at the station to collect him, David felt lost and betrayed. He’d only met his Mom’s sister once and that had been when he was very small. Now at almost 6’, with a shock of chocolate coloured curls and incredibly deep blue eyes, he was a far different person from the child that Rosey had held on her knee. But he resolved that he’d try not to make trouble, hoping that in a week or so, his Mom would relent and take him back.

That was 2 weeks ago, and now, with hope of making it back to New York fading fast, he was up, washed, dressed and on his way out to his first day at his new school.

Aunt Rosey had bought him the uniform of black pants, a mid blue shirt which picked out the colour of his eyes perfectly and a black and blue striped tie, which he knotted loosely, leaving the top button of his shirt casually open. He’d never been one for formality and hated the tightness of new clothes, preferring jeans and tee shirts.

David set off for the half-mile walk to school. The one thing he was thankful for was that there was no Jewish school nearby and so he was going to a mainstream school in a good neighbourhood. But it was half way through the semester and he hated the thought of being the new kid. As the building loomed up ahead, he saw other girls and boys also walking in that direction and fell in behind them, bag on his back as he eyed up his fellow schoolmates. He made his way to the principal’s office and from there was shown to his class where he sat down at the back in a spare desk and looked around him.

As the tall good looking boy walked in, Sienna Regan looked up and her heart melted. She’d always been a sucker for dark haired types and this boy had a different sort of quality to him. He was feral, almost dangerous, his uniform worn with an air of disdain, and he had a catlike swagger in his step. Her heart missed a beat. David took a quick look around the room and their eyes met. She blushed and looked down quickly and David smiled to himself. He always seemed to have that effect on girls, and this one looked good enough to eat. He resolved that at the next break, he’d go over and set about making friends.


At break time on that first morning, David made his way out to the yard with everyone else. He saw Sienna and her friends giggling behind their hands, but just as she was about to come over to her, one of the other boys in his class came over to introduce himself.

‘Hi, my names Andy. You new?’

‘Uh huh. I’m Dave’ the young man said.

‘Neat accent. Where’re ya from?’ Andy asked.

‘New York. Just moved here to be with some of my family’.

‘Cool. Ya wanna hang out?’


For the rest of the day, David ploughed through his timetable, meeting new folks and trying to get the new lessons into his head. By the end of the day, his head was in a spin and he felt tired and washed out. He missed his old friends. With them, he could relax and be himself without having to pretend to be outgoing and personable all the time. Not that he wasn’t. He’d always been popular, but here, he felt he had something to prove.

As the bell went for the end of school, he got up, packed his bag and was on his way out, when the girl he’d seen earlier in the day walked up, her friends giggling again in the background. She smiled up at him with sparkling brown eyes, her long dark brown hair cascading down her back.

‘Hi’ she said shyly.

‘Hi’ David replied, watching in amusement as her cheeks flushed red.

‘Erm…..I’m Sienna. My friend’s having a party tomorrow night and she wondered whether you might want to come?’

‘Are you gonna be there?’ he asked.

Sienna’s knees turned to rubber. He’d smiled at her and she’s seen those wonderful blue eyes, the deepest blue she’d ever seen. ‘If you want’ she breathed,

‘Yeah, ok. I’d like that. Where is it?’

She told him and said she’d wait at the street corner for him at 8:00pm and as she walked away she looked over her shoulder at him, smiling again.

David walked home thinking that the day was far better than he’d thought it was going to be. Even the mountain of homework he’d amassed seemed to dwindle as he thought about Sienna and before he turned in for the night, he got out his best blue jeans and a shirt that he thought went with his eyes, in readiness for his night out.

That night too, his uncle Al had introduced him to a family friend. The tall cop who was in the house when he came back from school stood up solemnly and introduced himself as David Blaine. He was an old friend of Rosey and Al’s. He was a police officer, like David’s Dad had been, but at Bay City Police Department, and he offered to show the young man round the precinct one day. He seemed friendly and invited David to a ball game that weekend saying that he and his wife Nancy had never had kids of their own.

David liked him immediately. He was younger than his uncle Al and seemed more in touch with what he needed from life. So with the promise of a party and also a ball game, David felt his life was at least tolerable.


At 8:00pm the next night, David Starsky was washed dressed and had even added some aftershave as he waited at the corner for Sienna to show. During the day he’d told Andy and some of his other new friends that he’d been invited to the party and they’d been envious, egging him on and betting him that he wouldn’t be able to get Sienna into bed on their first date. He’d always been popular with the girls at his old school and had never been short of a girlfriend, even having some brief encounters behind the bike shed. Never full sex, but he’d learned early on that he could still get satisfaction when girls used other parts of their anatomy to please him. He wasn’t a vain boy, and to be honest he could never figure out exactly what it was about himself that girls liked. But they did like him, and he wasn’t going to argue with that.

He’d also always been taught to respect girls and if it hadn’t been for trying to make an impression with his new friends, he’d probably have told Andy to leave off. But this was different. It was a matter of honour, so he’d accepted the challenge half heartedly and hoped that they would never find out what actually went on at the party.

Now he leaned casually against the lamppost, hoping that she wouldn’t stand him up and as he looked at his watch for the hundredth time that night, he suddenly saw her coming around the corner.

Sienna was dressed in a mini skirt which seemed more of a belt than a skirt, long white boots with a platform sole and high heels and a low cut blouse showing that she was well on her way to becoming a beautiful young woman. He pushed himself away from the lamp post and walked to meet her, hips swaggering in his tight blue jeans.

‘Oh hi’ she said. ‘I didn’t know whether you’d come or not’.

‘Hey, would I miss out on the chance to party?’ David asked. He put his arm around her waist and they walked the short way to the party house.

It was in full swing when they got there. Music blared from the record player and there was a large bowl of fruit punch at one side of the room, to which various boys were adding vodka in large amounts. Sienna led David around the room, introducing her handsome new boyfriend to her friends whilst in one corner an older boy looked on disapproving. To his dismay, David saw that Andy too was there and as he passed him, the blond boy winked at him and thrust his hips suggestively, leaving David in no doubt that their earlier bet was still on. They met the older boy in the corner last of all and he didn’t smile as Sienna said

‘This is my brother Pete. He’s in the year above us at the same school. Pete, this is David…..Oh God, I don’t know your last name!’

David smiled ‘Starsky. David Starsky’ he drawled in his thick New York accent.

Pete didn’t smile back. ‘You going out with my sister?’ he growled.

‘Pretty much, yeah. Is that a problem?’ David’s eyes flashed dangerously. He felt that Pete had taken an instant dislike to him and was careful to avoid any bad feeling so early on in his move to the neighbourhood.

‘She’s my little sister. You be careful with her’ the taller boy said. ‘Or you’ll answer t’me’.

David sighed. ‘Whatever. I’m just here for a good time’.

‘That’s what I mean’ Pete muttered under his breath.

He turned away and Sienna drew him into the middle of the room where some of the others were dancing. He put his arms around her and they started to sway to the music as she rested her head on his shoulder. Even at only 14, he was beginning to get a good set of muscles and she felt them move under his thin shirt, his body making her teenage hormones cascade out of control.

As the night progressed, they made several more trips to the bowl of punch in the corner. Sienna, who was unused to any sort of alcohol was feeling tipsy and more and more infatuated by the boy she’d met. For David’s part, he’d been used to drinking beer with his Dad at home, his parents taking the view that he’d drink sooner or later so they should take away the mystique and although vodka was a very different brew, the effects were less for him.

The evening was getting late, the clock showing just past eleven. Sienna had been dancing with him for most of the night and they’d kissed hesitantly at first and then more passionately as the evening wore on. Once or twice, David had seen boys and girls disappearing upstairs, coming down twenty or so minutes later looking flushed and out of breath and he’d known what they were up to. His libido being bolstered by the drink he finally whispered into Sienna’s ear

‘D’ya wanna go upstairs?’

She looked up at him, her eyes shining. ‘Yeah’ and followed him as he lead her from the room.

He took her hand and pulled her out of the room with him, the noise of the music now muffled by the doors. Upstairs was dark and there were several closed doors leading off the central landing. Slowly David pushed open the first door and ducked his had inside. A boy and girl were sprawled on the bed and looked up at the sudden appearance of the sliver of light. He closed the door quickly and eventually found a room that was free. Sienna pushed him in and before he could gather his breath, she pushed him back onto the bed, her hands fumbling with the buttons of his shirt.

When David had gone upstairs he’d fully intended to do nothing more than kiss and cuddle with Sienna and let Andy think whatever he wanted. But now, the girl was taking over, pushing at the waistband of his jeans, and his young hormones went into over drive. As Sienna pushed him backwards, he pulled her down on top of him, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her deeply, his tongue shyly pushing into her mouth as she moaned into him.

Her fingers raked down his chest, feeling the sparse hairs that were starting to grow there and he groaned as her fingers dipped into his jeans. His own hands were working at her clothing too, pulling up the tiny mini skirt and pushing her panties to one side as she wriggled off him and lay on her back at his side.

Swiftly, he unzipped his Levis and hovered over her, half of him wanting to take her there and then, while the other, more rational part of him, demanding that he stop. Libido won out and as Sienna looked up into his face, he dipped his body down to hers and felt himself push at her entrance. Sienna wriggled round again, giving him better access and suddenly his free will disappeared to be replaced by a rage of emotions and primal feelings.

He pushed into her and she squeaked, her breath hitching in her throat. For a brief moment he stopped.

‘Did I hurt you?’ he asked.

‘Only a bit’.

‘Oh my god. Are you a ….?’

‘Just do it’ she hissed into his ear. ‘I love you David’.

Her words inflamed his passion and he started to thrust into her, his mind completely blown away by his first full sexual experience. He’d never felt anything quite like it before and power of conquest overtook him. This was nothing like the hand and blow jobs he’d experienced back home. He was fully in charge now and he felt the power his body had over the girl, at once elated and fearful for her.

Sienna had her eyes closed as she fought the brief pain and then rode with the tide of sensations washing through her body. She cried out David’s name and it excited him more so that within a couple of minutes he’d reached his climax, his body shuddering against hers until he collapsed breathless on top of her.

‘Oh God’ she whispered in his ear, equally breathless. ‘Do you love me too David?’

He was about to answer when the door to the bedroom slipped open a little and Andy’s face appeared.

‘Nice one Dave. Guess you won the bet’ Andy grinned and closed the door again.

David pushed himself off the girl and she stared at him, tears in her eyes.

‘Is that what this was, a bet?’ she asked, her voice trembling as she pushed him away.

‘No, oh God no. I never wanted it to go this far’ David said, his head hanging down. ‘Andy made a stupid bet and I wanted him to think we were doin’ it. But I never intended…..’

‘To have sex with me?’ Sienna finished. ‘You could have fooled me’ she spat.

‘Hey, it was you who stripped my shirt off’ the young man shouted defensively.

But Sienna was angry and upset. She pulled her skirt down self consciously and rushed from the room.

‘Stay clear of me David Starsky. I never want to see you again’ she shouted, then burst into tears and ran down the stairs.

David sat in the darkened room and wondered what had hit him. If he lived to be 100 he thought, he’d never understand girls, but on a happier note, his kudos with Andy and the guys had now been confirmed. Every cloud had a silver lining!

Chapter 3

David had made his way home from the party that night feeling used, dirty, angry at himself for letting his brain settle in his pants and sorry for Sienna. He'd never meant to hurt her and he hoped that she would learn to forgive him because he’d never intended things to go as far as they had. He’d let himself quietly into the house and had made his way up the stars to the small bedroom he’d reluctantly begun to call his own. Flinging himself down on the bed, he hadn’t even bothered to get undressed as he let sleep overtake him and had woken with the first glints of sunlight through the curtain next morning. He had a headache and a tongue that felt as though it were covered in deep pile carpet, but he felt he deserved both, and he set to to shower and get himself ready for school.

His Aunty Rosey had said that it was a bad idea to go out to a party on a school night, but she’d not wanted to stop the boy as she’d felt so sorry for him losing his Dad and his home in the space of two weeks, but now, David felt she’d probably been right to try to put her foot down and had resolved to try to be a bit more accommodating in the future.

Combing his unruly curls into place, he toasted himself a slice of bread, added peanut butter and set off from the house early, not wanting to face his aunt so early in the day. He wasn’t proud of what he’d done and just wanted to get to school and forget the night.

But in the classroom things were worse instead of better. One half of the class, Sienna’s friends, were cold and hardly acknowledged that he existed, while Andy and his friends during the day built David up to be some kind of hero. At lunchtime he hid within the small group of boys who sat outside in the sunshine. He knew he was being a coward and that he really should go over and try to reason things out with Sienna, but he hadn’t the nerve to do so while all her friends were around. What made things worse was the knowing looks he received from Pete and his friends as they walked by David’s group later in the day.

Finally the most uncomfortable day of David’s life was about to come to an end. The final lesson of the day was Maths and during it, he felt uncomfortable as Sienna continually looked around at him. He couldn’t read the expression on her face. It was a mixture of contempt and something else that looked like fear. As he packed away his bags, she finally seemed to pluck up courage and stalked stiff backed over to him.

Waiting until everyone else had gone from the room she sighed.

‘I didn’t like what you did to me last night. And neither does my brother. I just wanted to warn you to be careful tonight’.

She turned and was about to walk away when David caught hold of her arm. ‘Whatever you want to believe, I didn’t mean for it to go so far’ he said, willing her to believe him.

‘You’ve got a strange way of showing it’ she said coldly. ‘I’ve nothing else to say to you. I just wanted to warn you’.

‘Warn me about what? You said be careful. Of what? He pressed.

‘I can’t say any more. Just….be careful. I still think I might love you’ she said and darted forward to dot a kiss on his cheek.

That left the young Starsky red faced and hot under the collar. She still liked him! After all his beating himself up today, she still liked him! He packed the rest of his books into his rucksack and set off out of the classroom and down the now deserted corridor, his mind still reeling at the news. Because, despite his despicable behaviour last night, he still liked her too, and he hoped he’d have the chance to show her that he wasn’t just a walking mass of testosterone.

As he made his way outside, David was still caught up in his happy thoughts and didn’t hear the feet on the gravel behind him. It wasn’t until a heavy hand fell on his shoulder that he realised that Pete and his cronies were beginning to circle him like a pack of hungry hyenas.

‘Well if it isn’t Romeo’ Pete said grimly.

‘Pete’ David said carefully, his eyes flicking from one boy to the next.

‘Kept your tackle in your pants today have you?’

‘Oh look Pete, I can explain’ David blustered, realising now that Sienna must have told her brother and that was what the warning was about.

‘What’s to explain? You fucked my sister, and now I’m gonna make you pay’ Pete said as the group closed in on the curly haired boy.

David was no stranger to fighting. He’d done his share in the past, back to back with his brother as he fought in his schoolyard back in New York. But now he didn’t have Nicky to back him up and he licked his lips nervously. Pete had five friends with him, all bigger than David. If not taller, they were at least a year older than the New Yorker and had more muscle and power. They circled the smaller boy now like predators and he looked from one to the next, wondering what to do. It was obvious he couldn’t fight all of them and so he did the only other thing available to him.

Shouldering quickly out of his rucksack, David swung it at the group, then set off down the corridor as fast as his legs could carry him. He was good in a sprint and had even won a couple of medals at his previous school, but the building was strange to him and he had no idea where he was running to.

The rucksack being thrown had only given him a second’s advantage and now he could hear the other boys bearing down on him. He looked desperately around, seeing a flight of steps leading upwards. With nowhere else to go, David took the steps three at a time and pushed open the door at the top of them.

He found himself on a flat, gravelled roof and looked swiftly around for any other means of escape, but there were no other entrances or exits onto the area and he realised he was trapped. The other boys followed more slowly now, knowing that their target had nowhere left to run to. They came up the steps and out into the late afternoon sun quietly and as David started to back up, his eyes darting fearfully from one to the next, they circled him again, cutting off any possible means of escape.

David’s throat had gone dry, but his foolish pride stopped him from pleading with the boys. Instead, he remained silent while they closed in on him.

‘Well aint that a pretty picture’ Pete drawled. ‘You know what. Your lessons for the day haven’t ended yet’.

‘No? And what d’ya think you lot can teach me?’ the curly haired boy said defiantly.

‘This lessons a real doozy’ Pete grinned. ‘We’re gonna teach you to fly. Grab him’ he yelled at the two boys closest to David.

He tried to duck away from them, but he was swiftly outnumbered and overpowered and as the rest of the watched, the two bigger boys lifted David bodily from the ground, hands around his shoulders and knees. Pete watched, licking his lips hungrily and couldn’t resist hitting out at the defenceless boy with his fist. The blow caught David on the left cheek, snapping his head back, and indigo eyes blazed furiously back at the bigger boy. They walked swiftly to the parapet around the edge of the roof and sat David on the low wall. Letting go of his shoulders and pushing the terrified boy backwards, whilst holding onto his knees and feet, they dangled him over the edge of the roof.

David tried to remain upright, fear clawing at his belly as he felt gravity take him and he fell backwards so that the only thing keeping him from falling were the hands on his lower legs. His head fell back and he looked at the world upside down, the ground seeming an awful long way away. His arms fell above his head, his shirt rode up temporarily blinding him. He tried to kick out, but the boys had him firmly held and he started to yell.

‘Pete for Gods sake let me up. I didn’t do nuthin. Well, I did, but not what ya thing. I like Sienna, she’s a great girl’.

Pete looked over the edge of the wall at the struggling boy. ‘You’ll say anything to save your skin Davey. You should think with your head and not with that pathetic little dick’.

David struggled to kick out again, trying to climb back up his own body to gain some safety. He’d never been scared of heights…..till now. but the thought of plunging headfirst from the first floor roof to the ground was not something that he relished. He tried again.

‘Ok ok ya made your point. I’ll stay away maybe’.

‘Are you going to ask nicely? Are you going to plead with me to let you up? Pete asked wolfishly.

‘Piss off’ the dangling boy retorted, his temper taking over from common sense.

‘Well that attitude aint gonna help’ Pete shouted over the wall.

David lost his temper completely and started to struggle for all he was worth. There was no way now that he was going to let this older boy see just how shit scared he really was and he concentrated on kicking out as far as he could with his legs, never for one moment giving consideration to the fact that the hands on his legs were the only things keeping him from falling.

Above him, on the roof, the two boys were having a tough time keeping hold of the struggling bundle. ‘I can’t keep a hold’ Jeff said desperately as he was pushed and pulled around by David’s powerful legs. ‘Tell him to stop! Shit, I can’t hold on any longer!’

His handhold was shaken and the other boy grunted as suddenly he had the full weight of the New Yorker in his hands. If David had have remained still, they may have been able to hold him and even pull him back up to safety. But David had felt one guy give loose and in his anger felt the advantage. He kicked out again, harder, and the remaining pair of hands gave up the unequal struggle, letting go with a desperate grunt.

Suddenly David was in freefall, the ground coming up to meet him at an alarming rate. He had time just enough to realise the mistake he had made before his body hit the ground in an untidy and painful heap.

The boys still on the roof looked down in disbelief. Pete had told them that they’d scare the new boy, maybe even hurt him a little, but they’d never expected to kill him. They looked down at the bloody pile of humanity with fear in their eyes. David didn’t move and they were sure they’d killed him. They were silent for a moment then as if driven by a spring, they set off as one, running down the stairs and outside. They ran past David’s body, scared to look and set off for their homes.

‘We weren’t here’ Pete shouted to them. ‘We were doing homework at Jeff’s house, got it?’ They nodded fearfully and dispersed.

Back at the foot of the drop, David opened his eyes, amazed that he was still alive. His right arm was bent beneath him and felt hot and lump and strangely out of place. As he tried to get himself into a sitting position, he felt a jagged pain lance up his arm and realised his wrist was probably broken. As he tried to move again, he realised other things too were not as they should be. Trying to lift his left leg brought more pain, and he screamed as he accidentally snagged his left foot on his right pant leg. Whimpering to himself, he looked at the swollen ankle which seemed to be stuck out at an odd angle, realising that that too was broken.

Great one Davey boy! Get yourself completely banged up on your second day at school, why don’t ya? Jeez, look at yourself. And all over some girl! Give up school an’ become a monk or sumthin….. But get yourself home first.

Slowly and painfully, David levered himself up with the aid of the wall at his back, until he was standing on one leg, balanced with the flat of his left hand against the rough brickwork behind him. He tried to put some weight on his left leg and was surprised to find that it was reasonably numb.

With a deep and shuddering sigh, he took one faltering step, feeling sick to his stomach. Another step followed, and another, so that, limping heavily and taking one step at a time, he managed the half mile walk back to his Aunt’s house in a little over half an hour. By the time her got there, he was exhausted, sweating and had just enough strength to throw up over Rosey’s Petunias in the front garden, open the front door and collapse unconscious into the hallway.

Chapter 4

Rosey paced the small room waiting for her nephew to come around from the anaesthetic, wondering just what she was going to tell her sister. When Rosey had agreed to take in young David, her husband had warned her that looking after a 14 year old would be tough. Looking after a 14 year who had just lost his dad would be even tougher. Nothing, however, had prepared her for the raging bundle of anger who had turned up on her doorstep from the Greyhound bus, and although she knew David was trying so hard to keep his anger under control, this was something she hadn’t expected.

That evening she’d heard a noise at the front door and had thought at first that the boy had arrived home late because he’d been with friends, and she was glad that he was making some. However, when he didn’t come into the kitchen immediately asking for food, she’d wiped her hands from her baking and stepped into the hallway. She’d uttered a little scream when she’d seen David lying full length on the ground and had rushed to his side, turning him over gently. And then, and only then had she seen the extent of his injures.

He had a cut beneath his left eye surrounded by a purple swelling and his eye was beginning to swell shut. But then she saw further that his right wrist was also swollen and discoloured. At that point she knew he’d been in a fight and her heart was in her mouth as she called for Al to come and help her lift David into the living room.

The curly haired boy remained unconscious, fortunately as they half carried and half dragged his body into the living room and laid it down gently on the sofa. Al went to call for an ambulance as Rosey stayed by David’s side, gently stroking his forehead, and soon, his eyes fluttered open and he looked around him, confused for a moment as to where he was.

‘Davey, what happened?’ Rosey asked softly.

David wanted to tell her, but he knew telling her about Pete would lead to having to tell her about the party and all that happened and he couldn’t face hitting his aunt with that sort of news. So he lied.

‘I dunno. I was late at school and I fell down some stairs. I guess I didn’t realise what I’d done coz I managed to get home’ he explained.

‘Steps at school? They need reporting. You need to be more careful, son’ Rosey spluttered. ‘And we’ll have to call your Mom and let her know’.

‘No, please Aunty. Don’t call Mom. She’ll only worry. M’ok. Just hurt my ankle’ David said desperately.

Al came back into the room and sat down by the boy’s side. ‘The ambulance is on its way, then you can get your arm and leg fixed. Do they hurt a lot?’

‘Guess so’ David mumbled not ready to tell them exactly how much.

Rosey’s face lit up. ‘When you get back, I’ll make you some chicken soup. That’ll be good for you. Help to mend your bones’ she said.

Al looked doubtfully at his nephew then his wife. He smiled kindly. ‘Rosey honey, you know you can’t make chicken soup. You want to kill the poor boy? Stick to your won tons. You can do great won ton. Just not the soup huh?’

The ambulance arrived and whisked them off to the hospital and there, the doctor told them that the ankle was badly broken and that it would need to be set under a general anaesthetic. Thereafter, David would always likely have a weakness on that limb, but it should heal adequately.

And so now, Rosey waited in the quiet room, waiting until David slept off the anaesthetic and wondered whether she should call her sister or not.

Later that night, going up for midnight, Al and Rosey wheeled a sleepy and well medicated young man out of the hospital and to the waiting car. David’s foot was encased in plaster up to his knee and his arm was similarly decorated from finger tip to elbow, held in place by a black sling. His cheek sported three stitches in the cut there and had a small white dressing taped over it and David’s eyes were glassy from the remains of the knock out drugs and the codeine he’d been given.

Back at home, he managed to hop upstairs to bed and was soon asleep. But his dreams were all of flying or falling off tall buildings and twice during the night, Rosey had come into his room to see the boy sweat soaked and thrashing on his pillow as another nightmare shook him. She’d sat by him, easing his fears and holding his hands and he’d drifted back into a troubled sleep, but his Aunt was firmly convinced that this was no ordinary trip down a flight of stairs, and she vowed she would get to the truth of the matter sooner or later.

The next day, she telephoned the school to say that David wouldn’t be in class and explained about the steps. The head teacher was surprised, saying that there were no steps in the building which were steep enough or dangerous enough to cause those injuries, but she was sorry for David and she would investigate the matter. Rosey put the phone down and set about her daily chores as upstairs, David awoke and lay in the bed, nursing all the various aches and pains in his young body.

At school, however, things were not going according to Pete’s plan. When he’d gotten home that night, Sienna had asked him what he’d been doing and he’d told her that he’s fixed her boyfriend and that David wouldn’t be bothering her any more. She pleaded with Pete to tell her what he’d done, but her older brother just told her to butt out, that it wasn’t her concern any more. Sienna had gone to bed with a bad feeling and had wanted to ring David to check that he was ok. But Pete was always close to the phone and Sienna was a little of scared of her powerfully built sibling, so instead, she vowed she’d ask David when she saw him at school the next day.

When David didn’t turn up to class, Sienna worried even more and by lunchtime, her worry was eating at her so much that she decided to go around to David’s Aunt’s house after school. The rest of the day passed agonisingly slowly for her and she was the first to pack her back when the bell finally went. Hurriedly she explained to her friends that she wouldn’t be walking home with them, and careful to avoid her brother, she set off the half mile to David’s.

She knew her brother was capable of hurting people. He’d interfered with a boyfriend once before. But she hoped this time she’d be wrong and that maybe David had a head cold or something simple. Arriving at the house, she took a deep breath and knocked on the door, her heart beating wildly as she waited.

After what seemed like an age, an older man came to answer the door and he smiled at her.


‘Erm….my name’s Sienna Regan. I’m a friend of David’s. He wasn’t in school today and I was just checking on him’ she said in a rush.

Al smiled at her again. Yes, she was just the pretty sort of girl he’d expect the handsome young lad to fall for. He opened the door wider. ‘Come on in. David had an accident last night. He’s injured, but I’m sure a visit from a pretty young girl will make him feel all the better’ he said, showing her upstairs to the small bedroom at the back of the house.

Sienna walked into the room and gasped as she looked at the curly haired boy. The bruise across is cheek had developed into a deep purple/blue haze of colour highlighting the white dressing taped over it. As her eyes travelled further, she took in the plaster casts on his arm and leg and tears came to her eyes.

With her back to him, Al didn’t see the reaction and closed the door softly behind her, to give the youngsters some privacy. As she heard the catch close, she rushed to the bed and knelt by the side.

‘Pete did this didn’t he?’ she sobbed, tears coursing down her face.

‘Yeah, some bodyguard ya got there’ David replied a little too sharply. Sienna gave another racking sob and he put his good left hand out and touched her hair. ‘Sorry. I know it aint your fault’ he said.

She looked at him through her tears. ‘I’m so sorry. He should never have done this. He’s never been this bad before. What did he do to you?’

David turned away. ‘Nuthin. Its nuthin’ he mumbled.

‘How can you say that? You have a broken arm and leg!’

‘Ankle. Not leg’ he corrected and she burst into tears again.

‘Ankle, leg. What does it matter? He hurt you too much. He needs to pay’ she sobbed again.

‘No he doesn’t. I’ll get even. Just don’t do nuthin huh?’ David said, wishing she’d stop crying. It made him feel uncomfortable and he had no idea what to do with a crying girl.

‘What did he do to you? Please tell me’ she insisted.

‘Promise you won’t tell anyone?’

‘I promise’ she said, crossing her fingers behind her back.

‘He dropped me off the roof of the music room’.

‘He dro….Oh my God! How could he do that? Oh David. I’m so sorry’ she whispered as she flung her arms around him.

He winced and gasped as she clung to his battered ribs. They hurt almost as much as his leg and arm, and along with his back they added up to a body that felt as though it had been pulled through a baling machine. But at the same time, having Sienna crying over him and obviously concerned for him felt good and for a moment he enjoyed the waves of sympathy rolling his way.

Sienna stayed another half hour, by which time she could see that David was getting tired. In truth, he just wanted to sleep and escape the pains he had each time he moved, took a breath or indeed blinked. She stood and kissed him lightly on the forehead and he grinned at her as she left the room. As David snuggled down into his bed, Sienna made her way down the stairs and knocked at the living room door. Rosey opened it and smiled at the young girl and showed her in. John Blaine was visiting with Al and Rosey now and at first the girl felt uncomfortable with what she was about to say, but she knew it needed saying.

‘Erm….thank you for the drink’ she started, hesitantly.

‘That’s no problem dear. Come round to see David any time’ Rosey said.

‘Well, its about David. He’s terribly hurt’.

‘Yes I know’ Rosey said. ‘he told me he fell down some stairs at school, but the head teacher doesn’t seem to know which ones. Do you have any idea?’

Sienna swallowed. ‘He didn’t fall down any stairs. He erm…..oh God….my brother fought him. Pete and his friends were mad because he was going out with me. They ganged up on him last night and they….erm’. she put her head in her hands and burst into tears.

Rosey sat by her side and put her arm around the distraught girl. ‘Its ok honey. You can tell us. You won’t get into trouble’.

‘No, but Pete will’ she cried

‘Well if Pete has done wrong, he needs to be punished’ John said. ‘C’mon hon, tell us what they did’ he said gently.

Sienna raised her head and looked at the three adults. Finally making a decision, she told them. Pete and some of his friends took David up to the music room roof and pushed him off’.

As Rosey put her hands to her face, strangling down a cry of disbelief, Al and John looked at each other.

‘We need to talk’ John said softly.

Chapter 5

After Sienna had gone, Rosey and Al let out a combined breath.

‘What are we going to do now? The poor boy has been through so much in the last few weeks! Why didn’t he say something? Why didn’t he say he’d been attacked?’ Rosey asked, wringing her hands together.

‘It’s just not what young men do’ John explained. Although he and Nancy had no children of their own, he was closer to David’s age than his Aunt and Uncle. ‘He was probably confused and there was a heavy dose in there of not grassing up his new friends. Would you like me to talk to him?’

‘Would you? I think I’d either smother him with kindness or knock his block off! I just don’t know what to do’ Rosey said.

John stood. ‘Give us half an hour. Then, after that we can maybe talk and decide what to do’. He went upstairs and knocked quietly on the bedroom door, opened it and poked his head around.

‘Hi David. How’s it doing?’ he asked, walking in and sitting down by the edge of the bed. He looked at the war wounds visible on the young body and realised he’d seen the same wounds on cops who’d been on a particularly difficult assignment. This boy had been through the wars and lived to tell the tale.

‘M’ok’ David said quietly. After Sienna’s visit he just wanted to go to sleep, but he had taken a liking to John and tried to sit up a little taller in the bed and make conversation.

‘Sienna popped in to see us’ John started. ‘She’s a nice girl. You know how to pick ‘em’.

‘Yeah, she’s cute’ David said shyly. He wasn’t used to discussing his girls with adults. His Mom and Dad didn’t ask, and he never volunteered information. What they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them!

‘She likes you a lot’ John’s cop’s eyes watched the boy for any signs that he knew what this was all about. He wasn’t disappointed. David’s eyes slid away from his, a faint flush blooming over the pale cheeks. ‘She told us some stuff David and I just want to make sure I got everything right’.

David looked up. ‘It’s nuthin. I don’t want a fuss, just leave it John, please’ the young man pleaded.

John ran his hand over the cast on the curly haired boy’s arm. ‘This ain’t nuthin son. This is assault. We need to do something. Was it Sienna’s brother? Was it Pete?’

Again the eyes slid away, refusing to make contact. David looked up at the ceiling, wondering how he was going to deal with this. He knew Pete had done wrong. He hurt more than he’d ever hurt before, but he also knew that in order to say why Pete had done this, he’d have to come clean and tell these adults that he’d had sex with Sienna. And more than anything else in the world, after the visit he'd had from the girl, he didn't want her to hurt any more.

John persisted, using all his cop’s skills to wheedle the information out of the injured boy.

‘You don’t want him to get away with this do you David? If it was Pete, we need to stop him. We need to make sure he doesn’t do this to someone who isn’t as tough as you are. Can you tell me what happened son?’

David sighed. This guy was persistent. He wasn’t going to go away and David was desperately tired.

‘We fought. There were too many of ‘em and I couldn’t fight back proper’.

John saw the look of defiance in the young indigo eyes. There was a blaze of pride there amongst the pain and the hurt and the cop admired the young man’s fortitude.

‘What made you fight?’

David looked down again. ‘Nuthin’ he mumbled.

‘Was it about Sienna?’


‘David, its important. Was it about Sienna. Have you done something?’ John might not have kids, but he remembered back to when he was 14 and suspected that something was wrong.

‘No’ but the body language disagreed.

‘David, c’mon. Gimme a bit of help here. I need to know. Otherwise the next kid might not be as lucky as you’. John pleaded with the boy in the bed to see some sense.

‘Yeah it was about Sienna’ the mumbled admission was barely audible.

‘Have you two fought?’

‘God no!’

‘So if you didn’t fight, you were……Did you go to the party with Sienna the other night?’


John could see the light dawning now. He put two and two together and asked. ‘David, did you and Sienna do something you shouldn’t have?’

Stormy young eyes turned their gaze full on him. ‘She wanted it just like I did. I just couldn’t stop. I didn't take advantage, honest’ he muttered, ashamedly. 'I know I shouldn’t have, but she was there an’ she was drunk and I guess I took what as on offer. But it wasn't her fault. She kinda...well she...it was my fault, I don't want her gettin' into trouble’.

The cop smiled sadly. ‘That’s all I needed to know David. I know it took a lot to tell me, and what you and Sienna did is your business. But at least now we can decide what to do about Pete’.

‘Nuthin. I don’t want ya to do nuthin about Pete’ David yelled. ‘Its over. It’s done. He whupped my ass an’ that’s an end to it ok?’

Blaine stood up. ‘No David. What he and his friends did was very wrong and it needs to be dealt with. But you can leave that to me and your Aunt and Uncle. You’ve got to concentrate on getting better now ok. Nothing more than that. Don’t worry’.

‘Ya don’t understand’ David said miserably. ‘Don’t do nuthin, please. You don’t know what it’d be like goin’ back there. Like I was some kinda grass. I just want to leave it alone now. If ya do sumthin, they'll make Sienna feel bad. It was just sumthin I did wrong an' I paid for it. Please do't do nuthin. Please? Huh?’.

John stood at the door. ‘You’re a brave boy David. Whatever happens, it’s not your fault from now on. But in future, just leave the girls with a kiss huh?’

David was about to protest when John closed the door and he heard the heavy footfalls on the stairs going down back to the lounge. He hurt. He was disgusted at himself, first for having had sex with Sienna and then for grassing up Pete. And he missed his Mom and Dad so much. Tears came unbidden to his eyes and he wiped his hand angrily over his face. He rested his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes and sleep quickly overcame him. But still the dreams were all of falling from tall buildings or leaping from high waterfalls, the drops always endless and all with the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.


Next morning, Rosey let her nephew sleep in. She, Al and John went to the school and spoke with the head teacher at length about the conduct of her pupils and of Pete Regan in particular. By lunchtime that day, Regan and his friends had been suspended from school, and an emergency meeting had been called with his parents for the afternoon. And that night, Al told David that Pete had been expelled.

David took the news quietly. He’d gotten himself up and out of bed during the morning and using the crutch that he’d been given by the hospital, he managed to make his way painfully down the stairs. He’d been on tenter hooks all day, wondering what was going to happen with the tall boy and his friends and when Rosey, Al and John had arrived back at the house in the late afternoon to explain to him, he’d felt physically sick.

He ate no tea and had made an excuse to go to his room early, making it clear that he could manage and didn’t need any help to get upstairs. Once in his room he’d sat on the edge of his bed and thought long and hard about what to do, and had finally come up with a plan.

That night, he lay in bed fully dressed with the blanket pulled up around his ears until he could hear that his Aunt and Uncle had locked the door and gone to bed. When Rosey had popped her head around the door to his room, he’d pretended to be asleep and had felt mean for not returning the tender kiss she’d dropped onto his forehead.

David lay awake for another hour after the house had quietened down, making sure that both his relatives were sound asleep. Then he got up and hopped quietly to the door, checking that the coast was clear. He took what little money he had and stuffed it into his jeans pocket, checked that the note he’d written was left on the bed then took his crutch, went quietly down the stairs and let himself out into the cool night air. He closed the door and locked it and posted the key back under the door before turning his back on the house.

Painfully he hobbled up the road and walked the mile and a half to the bus park. Desperately he looked around for a timetable and saw the stop for the bus back north to New York. The next one was at 6:30am. He looked at the watch on his wrist. His Dad’s watch. The one that his Mom had given him after the funeral. 1:50am. He settled into the shelter and waited, collar up against the chill night air as he went back over the events of the last few weeks. His arm and ankle hurt, throbbing in time with his heart beat, but he didn’t care. He was going home, back to New York and his Mom and Nicky. And once there, he’d make sure he was the best son he could possibly be.


Rosey didn’t really know what woke her at 4:00am. She was usually such a good sleeper, but she’d woken in a sweat, her heart hammering in her chest and she lay awake listening to the sounds of the house. It was quiet. No creaks or bumps. No burglars. Nothing. So what had woken her?

David! Was David OK? She suddenly panicked thinking that maybe she had heard him trying to get himself a drink or something. She got quietly out of the bed without disturbing Al and padded to the door, out onto the landing and pushed David’s door open a little. All seemed quiet and she was about to close it again when she saw the bright white piece of paper on the bed, as if it was highlighted by a moonbeam. Only then did she realise that that bed was empty and she screamed, waking Al. He joined her in the small room and saw her sat on the empty bed, the note in her hand. She looked up as he came in, tears streaming down her cheeks.

‘He’s gone. He’s run away back home’ she sobbed, handing the paper to her husband.

Al took it and read it, then went downstairs and Rosey heard muffled voices as Al made a telephone call.

Within a quarter of an hour John Blaine appeared at their door and looked at the note. 'How did he get here, bus or train?’ he asked.

Rosey looked shell-shocked. ‘Erm….bus. He was on the Greyhound from New York’ she stammered.

‘Ok, I’m going to go and find him’ Blaine said, making for the door. ‘And then I’m going to give him a piece of my mind!’

Rosey walked to the door with him. ‘Don’t be hard on the boy John. He’s young and he’s alone and scared. Just bring him home to us huh?’

Blaine got into his car and looked at his watch. 5:00am. The morning was still dark, the stars just beginning to fade as he turned his car in the direction of the bus park and drove through the quiet hushed streets. Arriving at his destination, he parked up and set about searching the shelters, looking for the New York bus stop. He was coming to the last of the concrete structures when he came across the boy, leaning heavily on his crutch, his chin on his chest and shivering uncontrollably.


There was no response and he tried again. ‘David, its me John’. He reached out and shook the boy’s arm gently and David’s eyes opened, looking around confusedly.


Blaine saw the flush on the young man’s cheeks and the fevered brightness of the eyes and as he took hold of David’s arm, the boy collapsed against him.

‘Pop?’ David mumbled softly.

‘No, it’s me. It’s John. David don’t ya know me?’ the cop asked gently.

David’s eyes opened wider, but there was no recognition in them. John could feel the heat blazing from the young body and the tremors running through it.

‘Noooo, don’t. Not my fault….won’t…..hurts…..no Pete’ David mumbled as John held him close, running his hand through the sweat damp hair.

‘Ssh, s’ok Davey. Don’t worry. Let’s get ya checked out huh? John said calmly.

The eyes flashed open again and David tried to hit out at the cop. ‘M’ not goin’…..need t’go ‘ome…..Mom…’ he moaned softly.

John nodded sadly and careful not to hurt the broken arm and leg, he picked up the boy in his arms and carried him to the car as the curly head hung down over his arm, David having lost his fight with consciousness.

During the few next days, while the young man battled the infection ravaging his body, Peter's family decided that it would be best for all concerned if they moved away to start afresh in another part of Bay City. Sienna came once, to visit David in the hospital, but he was still sick and barely knew she was there and so, by the time he’d recovered sufficiently to know what was going on, the Regans had gone from the area. And by the time the curly haired boy by was fit enough to return to school, the incident had been all but forgotten by the kids in his class and he could finally settle down to his new life.

Chapter 6

13 years later

The small blond haired girl shimmied into the office and sat down, carefully re-arranging the tassels on her very skimpy costume. She crossed her shapely legs and her spangled shoes glinted in the lamplight of the office. At 2:00am, the squad room was quiet and she’d made her way back from the Mellow Yellow to report to her lieutenant Berkovitz and her Captain.

‘Solenko and Twoey will be going in tonight. But there’s something else. I guess I might just be getting creeped out by the whole gogo scene, but I feel like I’m being followed’ Helen said, trying to keep the edge of panic from her voice and behave like the detective she was.

‘What do you mean, followed? I thought the Mellow was full of greasy types anyway. How can ya tell one from another?’ Radek Berkovitz asked, concerned for his colleague.

‘Dunno really. It’s just a feeling. There was a creep hanging around the club. He’s been there for three or four nights now. Kinda slimy type you know? He just stares all the time an’ I’m sure I’ve seen him outside my apartment’. She shivered at the thought.

‘Did you get a good look at him?’. Radek’s voice held concern.

‘Well, he was medium height, ginger hair and that blank kinda look in his eyes. Like he was crazy. He was looking at….Oh shit. I’m sorry. I’m acting like some frightened teenager’.

‘Yes, you are. I know you’ve been under for a while now, but pull yourself together’ the Captain said, his voice hard and heartless.

Helen sat up straighter in her chair. What was it with the guy? He didn’t like her at all, and she’d taken on the tough two month assignment more to impress him than to do anything to further her career. And here she was whining like a frightened schoolgirl. He was right. She ought to pull herself together.

‘I’m sorry Sir’ she said. ‘You’re right. It’s being around all those flakes at the club. Its just getting to me’.

‘Well the only way to get over your fears is to get back out there and face them’ the man said. ‘You have another three hours before the club closes. Get back in there and keep a tail on Solenko huh?’

The Captain stood up, dismissing the man and women with a flick of his hand, and as they went out into the empty squad room, he grinned to himself and fingered Helen’s file beneath his desk. It had everything in there. Her work history, which he had to admit was exemplary, her life history which was ordinary in the extreme and more to the point, details of her private life, including the men she’d seen and those to whom she was still close.

Back in the squad room, Helen was shouldering into her long coat, gladly covering up her skimpy gogo costume. As she headed for the door, Radek called after her.

‘Be careful Helen. If you need anything, you know where I am’.

She smiled gratefully. Even if she didn’t get on with the Captain, her lieutenant was at least on her side.

‘Thanks Radek. I know I’m being silly, its just….’

The tall man held up his hand and crossed the room. Conspiratorially he bent and whispered in her ear.

‘He’s an asshole, we all know that. Whatever it is that bit him, he’s still scratchin’ an’ everyone around has to suffer! Just ignore him, I can handle that side of things. You take care. You know the sorts we have to deal with. He ain’t been out on the streets for years. Watch your back honey, and I’m here if you need me’.

She smiled at him again, closed the door and was gone.


3 days later

The curly hared cop watched as the body of the aluminium foiled man plummeted to earth, his body landing with a sickening thud to lie lifeless and broken on the dirt.

Starsky stared down at it for a moment, lost for words.

He and Hutch had rushed to the KLOW radio arial to respond to a call that a young woman had been taken hostage and as they’d climbed up onto the roof of the radio station Starsky’s old familiar fears had started to return. He hated heights, but at the same time he had a certain sympathy with Commander Jim March Wrightwood. He’d been released from San Leoni mental institution on the strength of some hi falluting test and after the wave energy phobic had been shocked with ECT. He was alone, he was without his medication and he was scared.

As Jim had started to climb the mast, Starsky had forgotten his fears in the heat of the moment, the adrenaline flowing through his system cancelling out the feelings of panic he usually had if he went higher than the top rung of a step ladder. Hutch had started to climb the open metal structure, his long limbs used to advantage to reach for the well-spaced hand and footholds. Starsky had started to climb up the metal rungs set into the corner of the mast, trying to reach Jim before he could climb up too high. But madness had driven Wrightwood on and the higher he climbed, the higher the curly haired cop had had to follow. Despite the fact that the hurting man was carrying a shotgun, he still managed to outdistance Starsky and as they hovered high up over Bay City, Jim started to walk out, precariously onto the narrow metal beam.

Starsky, who was closest to him hung onto the metal structure with hands wet with perspiration. His legs felt rubbery and unsafe and his mouth was dry, but his goal of talking Wrightwood down was still clear in his mind. He saw Hutch get up to the same level as him and slowly he held out his hand to the scared, aluminium foil clad man.

‘C’mon Jim. Don’t do this’ he said softly and carefully. Textbook stuff. No loud noises, no sudden moves. He got a better purchase on the metalwork around him, wedging his shoulder underneath one of the struts to keep him from falling. Swallowing hard, he let go with one hand and held it out.

Jim looked at the hand as if it would bite him. His eyes were wide and staring and he let go of the metal above him.

‘No, Jim don’t’ Starsky’s guts squirmed inside him, the familiar hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach adding to his tension. He tried again.

‘C’mon, we can talk about this. Just come with me. We got that room I talked about. The lead lined one. Ain’t gonna be no more radio waves from Alpha Centauri’ he said gently, leaning further out over the void.

As Hutch looked on, helpless to assist because if the distance, his partner reached out further to the madman, but instead of being quietened, Jim stared back, fear flashing through his eyes. He took a faltering step and let go of the mast completely. For a moment it looked as though he’d manage the impossible and walk the tightrope of metal back to safety. But the gun in his hands upset his balance and as Starsky made a mad grab, Jim fell, grabbing at the passing metal. He caught hold of one of the rungs with one hand, desperate now to save himself and Starsky crouched down trying to reach the scared man. Despite his own fears, the brunet held out his hand further, perilously close to loosing his own balance before Jim gave one last frightened gasp. His grip loosened and with a muffled yelp he plunged to his death.

There was silence as the two cops looked down at the body and then Hutch started to make his way down the huge structure, thinking that Starsky would be following.

But the brunet had frozen. The sight of Wrightwood plummeting down had awakened his own fears again and now he managed to stand, gripping the metal with both sweating hands as he closed his eyes and fought for some kind of equilibrium. The world seemed to be spinning out of control and he rested his head against the cool metal, unable to take a step forward or back. He was literally rooted to the spot.

Hutch looked up at his partner and realised that Starsky was in trouble, his old fear overtaking him again. Swiftly he started to climb back up, manoeuvring his way across the structure until he was standing at the side of the brunet. He saw the death grip of white knuckles on metal and the sheen of sweat on the handsome face. Starsky’s eyes were squeezed shut and his breathing was rapid and shallow.


‘Hnnn’ the brunet managed to moan.

‘Starsky let go. The steps are right by your side. You just need to take one step to your left’ Hutch said gently.

One indigo eye opened and then closed swiftly again. The sight of his blond partner standing on the thin metal rod, seemingly suspended over thin air made his heart race more and he felt the panic rising in his chest.


‘Hutch reached out and soothed the shaking man, his hand on his shoulder, but instead of relaxing into the touch, it seemed to inflame the situation.

‘DON’T LET GO’ Starsky yelled, visions of Hutch plunging to meet Jim on the ground flooding his consciousness.

Hutch withdrew his hand. ‘S’ok. I’m safe. You’re safe Gordo. Just listen to me. Concentrate on my voice huh?’

‘Hu..sh…..m’scared…..can’t move’ the voice was strangled and weak.

‘Starsky open your eyes, look at me’ Hutch ordered, realising getting tough was the only way they were going to get them down in one piece.


‘STARSKY! Look at me. Just open your eyes. Don’t look down, look at me. Right here’ Hutch pointed with two fingers at his eyes. ‘That’s it Starsk. Concentrate on the baby blues huh?’ he said slowly, using his partner’s familiar term.

Starsky opened his eyes and with a superhuman effort locked his indigos on Hutch’s sky blue eyes, drilling into the comfort of his partner until all he could see with the crystal clarity of those ice blue orbs. He took a steadying breath.

‘Starsk, I want you to take one step to your left. You can do it. Just one step huh? I’m right here. Not goin’ anywhere’ the velvet voice sounded mellow and calm and it filtered through the fear transfixing the brunet.

Without taking his eyes from Hutch’s, Starsky took a deep breath and moved one sneakered foot hesitantly to the left, feeling the edge of the metal beneath his foot.

‘That’s good Gordo. Now your other foot and then your hands. I got ya. Right here babe. Not goin’ anywhere’ Hutch continued as slowly Starsky began to move back to the metal rungs set into the corner of the mast.

Once he was moving, things became a little easier and the brunet even managed to let go with one hand long enough to rub his sweating palm against the leg of his jeans, replacing it quickly as he got to the first of the rungs going down. Carefully, he bent his knee, body pressed against the metal structure as he felt for the rung lower down, and as Hutch watched, his partner began the long, slow descent to the ground.

As the ground approached, Starsky descended faster and with a final sigh, he felt his foot hit terra firma, or at least the roof of the building. He stood on the solid roof, bent over at the waist as he tried to get his breath, his knees still rubbery beneath him. His climb down from the mast was a blur to him, his mind focussed completely on taking one step at a time, and now he looked up to see how Hutch was faring. Starsky saw the blond making his way sure footedly down the mast, which seemed to loom over him. As he looked upwards, he realised just how high he had really been. The world began to spin once more and he staggered to his side, depositing the contents of his stomach in a convenient corner.

Waiting for a moment to give his friend some privacy and finally Starsky stood, wiping the back of his hand over his mouth and looking green.

‘OK now?’ Hutch asked, some amusement now in his eyes.

The brunet nodded slightly. ‘Shit, I hate heights’.

‘Really? I thought you were up there admiring the view’.

Starsky grinned at his partner. ‘The only way I admire a view like that is either from a plane, or on a postcard!’

‘I knew you hated heights, but I never knew it was as bad as that buddy. What happened to make ya so bad?’ Hutch asked as they started to make their way back down to ground level.

The brunet thought for a moment, his mind going back all those years to the feeling of dangling upside down over the precipice. No, he wouldn’t tell. Not even his closest friend. Instead he grinned again.

‘Would ya believe my Mom dropped me on my head when I was a baby?’

Chapter 7

The two men walked into the squad room and headed straight for the coffee machine in the corner by the side of their desk. Hutch poured two cups of the molasses like brew and they were just about to sit down to start the mountain of paperwork that a dead body causes when the door to the office at the back of Starsky opened and a black head appeared.

‘Starsky, Hutchinson. Can I see you in my office?’ Dobey asked gruffly.

‘Only if you open your eyes Cap’ the brunet quipped as he saw his partner’s eyes roll skywards. Starsky had recovered from his fright earlier, or at least he’d made Hutch think he was recovered. But every sinew of his being still reverberated from the fear he’d experienced perched high up above the city. Humour, or his attempt at it, was the only method he had to calm himself.

Hutch knew that too. And the blond cop also knew his partner was still suffering from the after effects of the morning. But he rode with the brunet on this, studying his partner’s body language as he attempted to paper over the cracks left by the frayed nerves. They both got up, hooked their cups of coffee and followed the big broad back into the room. As was customary, Hutch sat on the small brown leather chair in front of the desk while Starsky perched on the arm, looking expectantly at their boss.

‘You did well today’ Dobey started without precursor. ‘I know it was personal for you Dave, but you handled yourself well’. The “for once” hung on the air, but the brunet chose to ignore it. Helen’s death was still too new and raw for him. Although it had been a couple of years since they’d split up, they’d been close enough that he was going to ask her to marry him and feelings like that never really die, they just become buried amongst the emotional baggage most people carry around with them.

‘A man still died out there Cap’ he grunted, the image of Commander Jim’s broken body also still fresh in his mind.

Dobey sighed. ‘You win some, you lose some. At least the girl is still alive. And to cap it all, you managed to bust the jewel robbers. That’s Rudy Solenko and his cronies out of the way for a while at least. You did good’.

Unaccustomed to their Captain’s praise, the detectives braced themselves. There was a “but” hanging between them, and they didn’t like it too much.

‘You didn’t ask us in here to pat us on the back Cap. Are you gonna tell us why you wanted to see us?’ Hutch asked mildly.

‘Hey, don’t spoil it! I’m still riding on the “you did good” bit. Let me savour it for a second huh?’ Starsky grinned.

‘Shuddup Starsky’ Dobey growled.

‘Oh now see, you’ve gone and upset him’ Hutch said with mock disappointment.

‘You too Hutchinson. Can’t a Captain praise his men once in a while?’

‘Not when there’s usually a sting in the tail’ the brunet said. ‘Ya gonna tell us or do we take ya down to the interview rooms and force it outa ya?’

‘Ok, well. I told the rest of the guys this morning while you two were out. I’ve been asked to go to the Academy for two weeks to sit on interview panels for new recruits. You know they take it on a roster to ask the various precincts to supply someone. Well my luck ran out an’ its me. Consequence is, there’s a new guy coming in as Captain. He’s been anxious to meet the two of you, especially as you’re the ones who solved the murder of one of his best female detectives’.

‘Helen’s Captain?’ Hutch asked, wondering how Starsky would take the news. Would it be too much of a reminder for the brunet of his ex’s presence?

'That’s the guy. He seems a straight forward sort. Said he was hankering after meeting you two for some reason’.

‘Our fame precedes us Cap. What more can we say?’ Starsky said with a wink. ‘When does he want to meet his wonder detectives?’

Dobey looked at his watch. ‘Should be any time now. He said he’d be here this afternoon. I want you two on your best behaviour. We got the reputation of the precinct to consider. Ya hear?’

‘Loud and clear’ Hutch said, slightly amused at the man’s pride in his team. ‘You leave it to us Cap’n’.

The black man grunted. ‘That’s what I’m afraid of doin’. Just keep it down huh?’

At that moment there was a knock on the door and Minnie poked her head round.

‘Captain Regan is here. Shall I show him in?’ she asked, smiling at her three favourite men.

‘Yeah, please’ Dobey acknowledged and straightened his tie.

Starsky’s head shot up as he heard the name.

‘What name did she say?’ he hissed at Hutch, who was still amused by Dobey’s tactics.

‘Hmm? Oh, erm….Regal…Regan. Something like that. Why?’

‘Nuthin’ the brunet said softly. ‘Its just a feeling that we’ve….’

‘Met before?’ Captain Pete Regan filled the doorway to the office, beaming at the brunet and his partner. ’We sure have Davey. We go back a long way, Davey an’ me. When the vacancy came up for a couple of weeks, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to get reacquainted with my old buddy’. Regan stepped into the room, shook hands with Dobey and Hutch and then turned to Starsky, holding out his hand.

Pete had most definitely grown up. At pushing 6’6” and weighing in at over 200lbs of solid muscle, he towered over Starsky’s 5”11’ lithe frame. He obviously worked out and had achieved the sort of physique that most body builders would be proud of. His neck had disappeared in a swathe of muscle so that his head appeared to sprout directly from his shoulders. His muscled chest threatened to burst from his shirt, the buttons straining to remain closed and his thighs filled his trouser legs tso that he fabric stretched taut over his bunching muscles there also.

Starsky looked up into the hooded eyes. Pete was still a good looking guy, his hair still thick and black and lustrous. But his brown eyes were hooded so that he gave the impression he was either disinterested or contemptuous of the people around him. The new Captain grinned wolfishly down at the curly haired cop.

‘Davey, good to see you again’.

Starsky wondered whether there was a hint of sarcasm in the voice. After he’d recovered from Pete’s gang’s treatment, he’d never seen either him or Sienna again. Pete’s family had moved them across town before the young Starsky had made it back to school. Now Starsky wondered what was going on in that bullish head. Had Pete grown up and forgotten what had gone on? He preferred to think that Pete was man enough to let bygones be bygones. He smiled back.

‘Good to see you too Pete’ he said carefully and held out his hand.

Pete took it and shook it, gripping Starsky’s right hand in a vice like grip and mashing the smaller man’s knuckles together as his eyes never left the brunet’s face. The friendly smile never left the Captain’s lips, but Starsky saw something in the eyes that unnerved him and he withdrew his hand at the end of the greeting, fighting the urge to massage the appendage back into shape.

Initial power display over, the four men got down to business.

‘I’m so happy to be over here for the next couple of weeks’ Pete crowed, looking benevolently at Hutch and Starsky. ‘I feel I can learn so much from two of Bay City’s finest. I’m sure we’re going to have a ball while Captain Dobey is away recruiting new officers.

‘I bet’ the brunet mumbled under his breath.

‘Sorry Davey, did you want to say something?’ Pete asked, his eyes flashing dangerously.

‘No, no. Just telling my partner we’re gonna have a swell time. And can we go with Starsky or Dave? I dropped “Davey” when I was about 4’.

‘Sure thing Davey. I’m sure we’re gonna get along just fine. Now. I need to talk to your Captain Dobey for a while. Things to do. Places to be’ Pete said, turning his back on the two detectives and effectively dismissing them.

They got up and Hutch followed Starsky out of the small office, noting the set of the shoulders and the slightly stiffened back. As he closed the door behind him, he put a hand on his partner’s shoulder.

‘Buddy? Are you ok?’

‘Peachy’ Starsky spat.

‘I take it you know this new guy’.

‘Uh huh. We go back a ways, but I haven’t seen him for…oh…almost 15 years’.

‘!5? Wow. That’d be just after you…’

‘Came to Calif, yeah’.

‘Were you friends?’ Hutch probed gently. He knew something had his partner rattled, but didn’t know what.

‘We knew each other’.

‘Oooookay. So maybe not best buddies huh?’

Starsky grinned. ‘No, we didn’t exactly bond’ he said.

‘Does he bear grudges?’

The brunet sighed. No. Surely 15 years distance would pale memories into insignificance. They were both just raging bundles of testosterone back then. Both young guns with things to prove and fragile young egos to protect.

‘I’m sure everythin’ll be fine. We’ve both had a lot of growing up since then’ he said heavily, hoping he was right. ‘C’mon. We got the rest of the paperwork on Solenko and Twoey to deal with, an’ I want to be outa here before Captain Marvel there comes looking for a coffee and a chat about old times’.

They sat down heavily at their desks again, clattering at the old typewriters. Starsky was never at his best when he had the official paperwork to do, always feeling that he was better employed out in his car with Hutch at his side. He’d never signed up to the force just to type and his spelling was not the best in the world.

By 5:00pm he was hot, frustrated and had a sever bout of turret’s syndrome, curses flowing freely from his lips. To cap it all, his right hand still throbbed from the white knuckle handshake earlier in the day and as he looked at it, he could see a faint purple bruise beginning to blossom across his fingers.

Great. Sure he’s forgotten everything an’ grown up. Let bygones be bygones. Wonder how Sienna is. Probably big an’ fat with 25 kids by now. Just go home an’ have a beer and a pizza Davey. Shit, that’s what he called ya. Oh boy!

Starsky withdrew the pencil from between his teeth, noting with amusement that perfect tooth shaped impressions decorated it’s length.

‘I’m goin’ home’ he grunted, rising stiffly from the hard wooden chair. ‘D’ya want a drink at the Pits?

‘Yeah sure’ Hutch stood, shouldering into his tan leather jacket. They were just about to make it out of the door when Pete’s face appeared at the door to his/Dobey’s office.

‘Can you guys be in for 6:30 tomorrow. Got some special training I want to set up’ he called.

Hutch watched Starsky’s back stiffen again and recognised the signs. His partner was beginning to loose the tenuous hold he had on his temper. He looked over his shoulder.

‘Sure thing Cap. 6:30 it is’. He pushed the brunet out of the door and followed his partner back out to the car.

‘Starsk, whatever happened in school, if we’re gonna survive two whole weeks of that Man Mountain, you’re gonna have to keep your temper in check’ Hutch said as they made their way outside.

‘I know’ the brunet sighed, his ankle and wrist aching in sympathy with the memories. ‘I’ll be fine. But lets just find reasons to be out here for most of the time, rather than back in there huh?’

Chapter 8

Early, if not bright, next morning, the two detectives dragged themselves back to the Metro, ready for whatever “special training” Pete had in mind.

The previous evening Hutch had tried to push his partner to tell him more about the way in which Starsky knew Pete Regan. But the brunet had been reticent, staring morosely at his glass of beer. He’d said nothing other than he and Pete had once gone to school together and that for a short time, Starsky had dated Pete’s sister. The blond knew when not to push his partner and so they’d parted company at about 8:00pm, Hutch still wondering just what history there was between the two.

Starsky had spent the remainder of the evening thinking about the encounter that afternoon. Pete had seemed friendly enough, even a little too friendly. And the “Davey this” and “Davey that” had grated on his nerves. Starsky couldn’t put his finger on what was wrong exactly. The new Captain had given him no real cause for concern, other than the overly firm handshake. By the time he’d had a shower and turned in for the night, Starsky had convinced himself that it was only his own over active imagination that was to blame for his feeling of discomfort. That, and the fact that he’d hated the fact that John Blaine had gotten involved in the childhood incident and the Regan family had seen fit to relocate. The brunet reasoned that Pete had done well for himself. He was only a year older than Starsky but had made Captain very quickly. So whatever had happened in the intervening years had in no way harmed the man.

Now, stepping through the doors of the quiet squad room, Starsky had convinced himself that it was only his own feelings towards Pete that had caused his discomfiture and he resolved to treat today like a new page; a new chapter in his book. He’d treat Pete with respect, and if he couldn’t actually bring himself to make a friend of the Captain, he could at least treat him without a hint of animosity.

Heading over to the coffee machine he looked over his shoulder. ‘Want some?’ he asked.

Hutch was just about to answer when a voice came from the inner office.

‘No time for that. You’re late. Everyone is waiting in the gym’. Pete came out of his office wearing sweat pants and a tee shirt that strained to cover the large muscles on his chest and arms. He had a towel wrapped around his neck and it was obvious that he’d been exercising before the duo had arrived. Reluctantly, Hutch and his partner followed the bulky man out of the room and down the stairs to the gym in the basement.

When they arrived they were greeted by the sight of most of the detectives on their watch standing on the gym mats in a semi circle. Most were in their ordinary day clothes, some had taken the opportunity for a workout before they’d come in and were in sweats.

Taking in the expectant faces, Pete walked into the middle of the circle.

‘For those of you who haven’t met me yet. My name is Pete Regan. I go by the name of Captain. Got that?’ he waited until he saw various nods around the room before continuing.

‘I know I’m only here for a short while, while Dobey is away, but this is a golden opportunity to get you men into shape. As you may be aware, a detective from my precinct was found murdered a few days ago’.

Hutch felt Starsky stiffen at his side. The brunet’s head had come up at the mention of the detective, knowing that Pete could only be talking about Helen. The flaxen haired cop put out a calming hand, his fingers brushing against Starsky’s forearm – enough to say “hold it partner. Not now!”

‘The detective in question was a young women who’d been sloppy in her attitude’ Pete’s eyes covered everyone in the room before staying just a fraction of a second longer on the curly haired cop. ‘She’d let herself go. Her physical training was below standard, and although I hate to say this about any of my team, she was a liability’.

Starsky started to take a step forward and Hutch’s hand became a vice, anchoring the brunet to the spot. Hutch could feel the tremors of indignation running through his partner’s frame and went on “Starsky alert”. In this type of situation his friend would either seethe quietly or blow his top and the blond watched for signs of whether he should duck or merely hold on.

With another sideways look at Starsky, Pete continued. ‘I don’t want a similar sort of thing to happen here, and I’m sure Dobey has you all at peek physical condition. But I’m just gonna run over some basic self defence techniques. Make sure you’re all keeping up with your exercise. So, I’ll need a volunteer for the demonstration. Maybe….’ His hooded brown eyes raked the room, falling on Starsky last of all. ‘Davey?’

Hutch felt his partner coil, like a spring ready to release.

No Gordo. Not now. It’s the wrong time. Don’t do this now! Hutch silently urged and pulled his partner’s arm back, pushing himself forward instead.

‘I’ll have a pop at you’ he said calmly, feeling the waves of indignation coming at him from the brunet. Pete’s face showed a moment of aggravation before it cleared. ‘That’s what I like. A willing volunteer’ he said cheerfully. ‘Now….’

For the next couple of minutes he positioned Hutch in various ways, demonstrating to the assembled men and women just how effective certain moves could be. He ended that part of the demonstration by taking hold of the blond’s arm, lifting him over his hip and depositing him gently onto the mat. Looking down he grinned. 'Wasn’t too bad, was it?’ Pete held out his hand and helped Hutch to his feet before looking around again.

‘Now, someone else?’

A pretty female detective from narcotics came forward next and once again Pete demonstrated some moves before getting one of the other guys to try to attack her, while he instructed her on how to avoid the attack, or use the attacker’s own weight and momentum against themselves.

Finally she finished and he stared around the room again. ‘One more session, and we’ll call it a day’ Pete said, barely out of breath. ‘Something a bit more robust this time. I need a volunteer who won’t mind taking the kid gloves off. Someone who won’t want to hold back’. He looked at Starsky as he issued the challenge, his hooded eyes boring into indigo blue pools. Hutch put his hand back on his partner’s arm to restrain him, but Starsky had had enough. If he wanted gloves off, no holding back, he’d get it. Challenge accepted!

‘Yeah, I’ll give it a go’ the brunet said, stepping into the arena. There were muted applause and some of the guys whooped ‘Go Starsk!’

Pete squared up to his old adversary. ‘Davey! Good of you to join me. We’re gonna sing!’


‘Ok folks. Davey boy is gonna walk up behind me an’ try an’ take me from the back. He’s gonna be the big nasty man and I’m gonna sing. Go for it Davey’.

Pete stood, legs slightly apart and arms hanging limply by his side as Starsky took a look at the crowd around him. He had a fair idea what was coming and knew that in this situation, he’d probably come of worse, but he’d give it his best shot and see what happened, determined to find out once and for all whether Pete was after his hide or not.

The brunet walked up behind the huge Captain and reached up his left hand to try to grasp Pete around the throat. As he did, Pete grabbed his wrist, holding it close to his chest with his own left hand. Starsky felt the elbow coming at him like a pile driver and the breath huffed out of his throat as Pete announced almost casually

‘S.I.N.G. Solar plexus, Instep’

The huge man brought his heavily trainered foot down on the brunet’s left foot.


Starsky tried to pull away, but with Pete’s hand holding onto his left wrist he had nowhere to go as the ham-like fist smashed backwards into his face. Pete wasn’t holding back with the blows and with a final flourish he completed the acronym.

‘Groin’ and drove his elbow again into the brunet’s balls causing him to groan and sag to his knees, panting at the pains and watching the ruby droplets from his bleeding nose patter onto the blue gym mat. Pete stood above him, looking pleased with himself as the rest of the room looked stunned. They’d expected a show. They’d expected Starsky to end up on the mat. But they’d never expected Pete to draw blood or complete the demonstration with such ferocity.

As the huge man turned his back on the downed cop, Starsky’s head came up, anger flashing in his eyes. He reached out an arm and hooked one of Pete’s legs, yanking back so that the big man lost balance and toppled to the floor. In a second, and with all the grace of a cat attacking a mouse, Starsky was on top of his assailant, straddling the man’s body to keep him down. He managed to grasp a wrist in each hand and pinned them to the floor, looming over the big man and dripping blood from his nose onto Pete’s chin.

‘The name is Starsky’ he spat out, blue fire flashing in his eyes before drawing back and striking at Pete’s head with his own forehead. He had the satisfaction of seeing a reddened mark appear on the Captain’s forehead and a dazed look flash into the brown eyes before Pete recovered.

Using his considerable strength he tried to dislodge Starsky from his body. But where Pete used brute strength, the brunet was agile and graceful. He flowed with the big man’s struggles and for a few moment looked as though he would win, but then Pete redoubled his effort and the unequal fight was finally over. He flipped Starsky over until he was on his stomach on the mat, arms pinned high behind his back so that his shoulder joints creaked in their sockets.

Pete bent over the body beneath him until he could hear the breath rasping in Starsky’s throat. He put his mouth close to the brunet’s ear.

‘What’s it feel like to have me back on the scene huh?’ he hissed quietly so that only the curly haired man could hear. ‘Thought you could get the better of me. Well think again pal. Its only just begun!’

Pete pushed Starsky’s head into the mat and stood up, dusting himself off dramatically. He turned and to a very casual observer, it looked as though he may have tripped over Starsky’s feet. To Hutch, and to some of the closer detectives, however, it was clear that the big man had brought his foot up and deliberately stomped on Starsky’s left ankle, a sickening crunching sound rending the air.

As Pete walked calmly out of the room, the assembled people let out a collective sigh and Hutch rushed to his partner’s side. Starsky was levering himself up into a sitting position and as Hutch got to him, he tried to move his left ankle towards him to massage it. The exact same ankle he’d broken those years before. The movement brought a sickening pain and he groaned softly as Hutch gently pushed his hands away and unlaced the Adidas. Taking the shoe off offered more pain and once the sock had also been removed, it was clear that, whilst not broken, the blossoming blue bruise and rapidly swelling joint indicated a very badly sprained ankle. Added to the fresh cut on the brunet’s right cheek from his fall to the mat, and the still dripping nose, the curly haired cop had not come away from the encounter too well.

Hutch helped his partner to his foot, the left ankle being held protectively away from the ground. As Starsky leaned heavily on Hutch for support and hobbled from the gym, Hutch chuckled.

‘Just what did you do at that guy to piss him off?’

Chapter 9

Starsky groaned as Hutch led him slowly down to the wooden bench in the changing rooms. It had taken an effort to get back to the sanctuary of the small room and the brunet panted slightly, raising his left foot up until he could gently massage the swollen joint. He wiped the back of his hand over his nose, leaving a red smear across his skin and rested his head back against the wire mesh, eyes closed or a moment.

‘You’ve really got a neat way with your old friends, don’t ya? Hutch said. He sat at the side of his partner and patted his knee. ‘So. Are you gonna tell me why your so called buddy just mashed you into the mat?’

Troubled indigo blue eyes opened and Starsky sighed. ‘Not much t’ tell. An’ I want to get out of these clothes an’ take a shower before I start tellin’ ya my life history’.

Hutch grinned. ‘Whatever you say buddy. Ya want a hand there?’

‘Uh huh. Just help me over to the showers an’ I’ll be fine’.

The blond took hold of his friends arm and helped him up, holding on as Starsky hopped across the room to the shower cubicles. He stopped at the curtained area and watched as the curly haired man limped heavily inside and pulled the privacy curtain across before he made his way back into the changing room. He’d not particularly liked the fact that some new Captain was looking after the department while Dobey was gone, and there was something about Regan that he’d taken an instant dislike to. But now his fears for his partner seemed to be confirmed he wanted to know for sure what he was dealing with. He sighed and waited for Starsky to reappear.

In the showers, the brunet painfully peeled off his tight jeans, bracing himself against the wall while he took them off over his swollen ankle. It looked even bluer against the white tiles and he cursed as the stiff material caught against his foot sending a jagged pain through his calf and knee.

But that wasn’t the only thing that was blue. The blow to his groin had been delivered with such force that there too was bruised, a purplish flush tingeing the delicate skin there and Starsky realised he’d probably be walking like he’d lost his horse for a couple of days. He cursed again and hopped under the stream of hot water, letting his dark thoughts flow away with the suds down the drain.

Ten minutes later, he hopped back into the changing room, a towel wrapped around his waist and his clothes slung over his arm.

‘Better now?’ Hutch asked.

Starsky snorted. ‘Sure, the pretty blue colour on my ankle won’t wash off, so I guess its gotta be a bruise, and um…..’ he looked around the changing room checking they were alone. ‘Little Davey’s taken on a real cute purple tone’.

The smile left Hutch’s face. ‘Ouch. I feel for ya buddy. So, no excuses. I wanna know. Just going with this guy’s sister is not gonna make him want to make mince meat of you. Tell me what the history is between you’.

Starsky sat down gingerly and sighed.

‘It was just after Mon sent me here. I was 14 an’ I had sumthin to prove, guess I was a smart ass’.

Hutch knew better than to make a snide comment and let his friend continue.

‘I met Pete’s sister Sienna at the school an’ we hit it off. She invited me to a party and some of the boys in the class bet me I couldn’t get inside her pants. I went to the party an’ I took her upstairs. I was gonna kiss ‘n’ cuddle but nuthin else, but then she came on to me. Big time. God it was like she was starving for it! If there was any seducin’ t’ be done, it was her doin’ it’.

‘So you erm….’

‘Hey, I was 14! Could you hold back at that age? And then afterwards, her brother found out an’ he didn’t take too kindly’.

‘What did he do?’ Hutch asked

‘He registered his displeasure. Are ya gonna bind my ankle up or what?’ Starsky grinned at his partner as Hutch started to wind the bandage around his limb.

Hutch completed his ministrations with a strip of plaster across the cut on his partner’s cheek.

The brunet got up to go and get dressed. He fingered the dressing on his cheek gingerly. ‘How do I look?’

‘Like the guy who lost the first round’ Hutch said, following him to the back of the room.

Around the corner and out of sight of the two men, the huge bulk of Pete Regan hunched, listening to every word that was said. As the detectives retreated to the back of the changing room he grinned to himself and nodded. ‘Yeah Davey boy. That was just the first round. You’ve fucked my sister, you fucked up my family an’ now you’ve fucked up my little sideline. You’re gonna wish you’d never been born boy.


The rest of the day went fairly uneventfully, Hutch finished the paperwork on Commander Jim and Rudy Solenko while Starsky concentrated on Twoey. The brunet found it difficult to sit because of his bruised groin, but more difficult to stand due to his swollen ankle and by 4:30 both had had more than enough work for the day. Clocking off, they went down to the parking lot and got into the car.

‘What’ve you got planned for tonight?’ Hutch asked as they pulled out towards home.

‘Hot date with Suzi’ the brunet eyebrows wiggled up and down suggestively.

‘Suzi? Which one is Suzi?’

‘The new green eyed one in R&I. What she can’t do with a typewriter ribbon aint worth knowin’. And she has other, more erm….visible assets too. The kind that make ya wanna reach out and rub up against’.

Hutch grinned. ‘The shape you’re in buddy, it’ll be her rubbing against you’.

Starsky snorted. ‘So long as she’s rubbing the right bits, that’ll be fine by me. What’ve you got for tonight? Another night of desiccated liver and yoga with Ruth?’

Hutch winked at him. ‘Don’t knock it till you try it Starsk. You and Suzi should try five minutes in “ustrasana”, the camel position. Gets the blood flowing down your spine every time’.

Starsky looked sideways, unsure whether his partner was joking or not. ‘There are a few things about that statement that take my mind to scary places Hutch. Let’s just not go there while I’m driving huh?’

As the blond grinned, the rest of the journey was completed in silence.

Starsky dropped Hutch off at his apartment by the Venice Canal, and then drove around to his place, parking his car under the tree and taking the steps slowly, still favouring his sprained ankle heavily. Getting inside, he wondered whether a beer or a bath would make his aching body feel better, and decided on both. The aching had argued with him all day and at one point Hutch had urged him to go see the police doctor. Starsky had snickered at the blond.

‘What am I gonna say Hutch? My boss beat the crap out of me? That’s not sumthin I want to brag about! Just leave it huh? Apart from anything else, I don’t want to give Man Mountain the satisfaction of knowing just how much he hurt me. He’ll be gone in another thirteen days’.

Hutch looked at the double sized ankle and the gauze covering the fresh cut and bruise on his partner’s cheek. ‘Ohh, yeah! Ssh…. don’t say anything! But I think the blood and the swellings a bit of a giveaway, don’t you?’

Grabbing a bottle from the fridge, Starsky started the hot water going in the tub and slowly got undressed, wincing at the blue discolouration on his ankle and scrotum.

Lowering himself into the hot soapy water, he laid back, beer in hand and stared at the ceiling. Seeing Pete yesterday had brought back a lot of unwelcome feelings, and idly, the brunet wondered if Blaine knew that Regan was on the scene. He didn’t think the older cop would be particularly happy to have the man on his patch, but resolved not to mention anything, Dobey was only gone for two weeks. He could cope with two weeks, surely! He took a chug of beer, letting the welcome coolness flow down his throat. Thirteen more days. Just keep out of the way and keep his head down. Not something he was good at, but for thirteen days he’d do it.

An hour later, and after a shave and a slice of cold pizza, he was sitting on the sofa waiting for Suzi. As the doorbell rang he tried to get up, but the pains in his body made him grunt and give up the struggle. Instead he shouted ‘Come in’, watching as Suzi’s blond head peeked around the door.

‘Hey Dave’ she said seeing the fresh bandage around his ankle immediately. ‘Oh, you’re hurt!’ she rushed to his side and sat down on the seat next to his lap, the swift change of position making him grunt so that she slid to the floor in concern. ‘Are you ok?’ her eyes searched his.

‘Yeah. S’ok. Just a bit sore’ he said trying to brush it off.

‘Aww poor you. Was it a bad guy? Were you in a shoot out? That’s so brave. A real hero’ she gushed, running her fingers through his curls.

This wasn’t how the brunet saw it panning out, but if it worked he’d go with it.

‘Yeah, it was work honey’ he said with an over exaggerated wince as he sunk lower onto the sofa so that he was almost laid flat. ‘He was so much bigger ‘n me, an’ I….well we managed to take him down’ he finished, milking the moment for all he had.

Suzi ran her fingers over his chest, caressing the curls through the opening in his shirt. ‘You hurt your ankle. Where else hurts love?’

Starsky grinned inwardly. This couldn’t go any better! ‘My cheek hurts’ he whined as she bent down to kiss it tenderly. He hissed a little at the small pain and she soothed her hand over his forehead.

‘Anywhere else?’

‘Well, we were running after him and I caught him and got him on the ground, but he stamped on my foot and hurt my ankle’.

Suzi ran her hand down his leg, her fingers trailing lightly over the material of his jeans and ending at the bandage on his bare foot. She took it in her hand, kissed her fingers and dotted them over the swollen area.


‘Well, you’re not gonna believe this, but I got an elbow in the wedding tackle too’ he said hopefully.

She looked up and grinned at him. ‘Well I don’t know whether to believe you or not. But a good officer has to investigate everything’ she said as she pulled at the black leather belt around his hips.

‘Are ya gonna search me, officer?’ he asked huskily.

‘Uh huh’

‘A full search?’

‘Uh huh. Full body search, just so as I don’t miss anything’.

Suzi unbuttoned the waistband of his jeans and unzipped the zipper. Starsky yelped at the sudden change in pressure over his bruised groin and the girl stopped, her hand hovering over the centre of his body.

‘You weren’t kidding were you?’ she said softly.

‘No. Sorry, its just kinda sore, ya know’.

She grinned wolfishly. ‘Well in that case, I’m just gonna have to kiss it better’ her fingers worked at his jeans and he lifted his hips so that she could manoeuvre the material down his legs.

Starsky sighed as he felt her cool hands on his body. He could put up with whatever Pete did to him, so long as this was his reward. He snuggled his head back against the cushion on the sofa as Suzi lowered her head to his groin. He waited in anticipation as he felt her lips lightly graze his…..

The ringing of the telephone made him jump, bumping the girls nose and she giggled. Reaching over, she passed the receiver to the brunet who took it with a slightly shaky hand.

‘Starsky. Whaddya want?’ he snapped.

‘I want you and your partner in here now. We’re short on men, and I need you on a stakeout’ Regan’s voice sounded down the phone.

‘Pete, we’ve just done a ten hour shift’ he said carefully. Surely this guy couldn’t expect them to pull another shift right now. Not when he was sore and erm……stiff.

‘It’s Captain to you, Davey boy, and that’s exactly what I expect – your asses down here in 30 minutes. Got that?’

Starsky’s face hardened. ‘Yeah, I got it Captain. And the name is Starsky’.

Chapter 10

Starsky had phoned Hutch immediately after receiving his call from Regan, and had received a curt reply from the blond. Hutch too was just in the middle of something worthwhile, but now, it seemed, he would be going short that night also.

‘Hey, don’t shoot the messenger!’ the brunet said ten minutes later as Hutch got grumpily into the passenger seat of the Torino.

‘Did I mention I’m getting a healthy hate complex going for your friend?’ Hutch asked stonily. ‘What does he think we are? Machines? We’ve gotta have some time off. Jeez! He throws you round like a rag doll this morning and….’

‘Oh now hold on, that’s not fair! Not a rag doll! I did try ‘n’ fight back. I thought I was doin’ pretty well too’ Starsky said with an aggrieved look on his face.

The flaxen haired cop snorted. ‘Yup, for about ten seconds ya really had him partner. But like I was saying. He thro….’ Hutch saw the brunet eyebrows V and changed his words. ‘He uses you as his volunteer, beats the crap out of you and then expects us to do a ten hour shift, have three hours off and then go back to work. He’s a sadist!’

Starsky nodded with feeling. ‘That he is!’ He picked up the mic. and pressed the button. ’This is Zebra 3. Log us in as rolling at 20:50 honey’.

Minnie’s voice sounded questioning across the airwaves. ‘Sure thing Starsky. Are you guys pulling an all nighter? I thought I saw you in earlier’.

‘Ya did, but we got an invitation we couldn’t refuse’ the brunet growled. ‘Patch me through to Captain Regan huh?’

He heard a soft snort. ‘I see our new Captain has gotten to you too with the title! Patching now’.

A moment later both detectives heard Pete’s tones on the mic. ‘When I say 30 minutes, I mean 30. Not 31 or 32. But you’re rolling now, I guess. There’s a stake out I want you to cover. Corner of West 59th and Harrington. Suspect is one Snowy White, wanted for fencing high quality coke. Don’t engage him, just keep a watch and if he moves, I want you to tail him. Is that clear?’

Hutch caught his partner’s expression and quickly took the mic. from him before the temper got the better of him again. ‘This is Hutch Cap’n. That’s a helluva way out of town! That patch is usually Lewis and Knight’s area. They’re on tonight. Could……’

A thundering voice cut the blond off. ‘I don’t expect an enquiry every time I give you an order Hutchinson. I wised up to your MO as soon as I got here. You might be Dobey’s golden boys, but to me you’re just two jobbing cops. You have your orders. You stake out Snowy White. Got that?’

Hutch took a deep breath, counting most of the way to ten before trusting himself to answer civilly. ‘Yes, loud and clear Captain. We stake out White. Till when?’

‘You’ll be relieved at 9:00am. Stay alert. We want this guy. Regan out’.

Very deliberately Hutch put the mic. back on its cradle and stared stonily out of the window as Starsky turned the car in the direction of their destination. ‘Did I mention just how much I hate that guy?’ he grunted.

‘Ya may have mentioned it. But believe me, it aint half as much as I do!’ his partner agreed.


Midnight saw the two detectives hunkered down in the Torino trying to stay awake. They were used to stakeouts. It was about the most boring part of their job and they’d found early on in their careers working together that they could orchestrate things so that they could at least take turns at getting some sleep. But at this particular moment, both men were wide awake.

For Hutch, the anger he’d felt when he’d taken the call from Regan ad not dissipated, making him feel jumpy and on edge. He hated unfairness and felt that for some reason he had yet to fully fathom, the new guy was targeting his partner and victimising him. And he determined there and then that he’d get to the bottom of the conundrum once and for all. Even if it meant getting his partner on the gym mat himself and forcing it out of him

Starsky was awake for a very different reason. His body had been aching before he had to come back out to work. Now the enforced inactivity of the past three and a half hours was taking its toll on him and he wiggled in his seat, trying to find a more comfortable way to sit on the black upholstery. The fabric of his jeans , which was tight as a second skin most of the time, now seemed like a vice over the centre of his body, pressing down on the bruised area so that he felt the thump of each heartbeat in his groin expanding his consciousness so that his world was taken up by the dull thump…thump…thump of his circulation. He wriggled again, lifting his butt off the seat and wiggling his hips before setting himself very gently down again. And he groaned.

‘You ok partner?’ Hutch asked, slightly amused at his friends antics.

‘Been better’ the brunet grunted. ‘My balls feel like they’re on fire’.

‘Yeah, he gave you a pretty good wallop there. Can you manage?’

‘Dunno. Hurts. They’re bruised Hutch!’

‘I can imagine. Just think of something else, something nice and soothing’ the blond said encouragingly.

‘Suzi was gonna kiss ‘em better. And then Pete called. Just at the interestin’ bit’ Starsky whined.

‘Know where you’re coming from Gordo. Ruth was just about to…..’

‘Please, no more camels. I just got the last scary picture outa my head!’

‘No, no camels Starsk. It was a whole different sort of animal we were…..You should put ice on bruises’.

‘Would you like to put a bag of frozen peas on your nuts? Starsky asked vehemently. ‘Try it sometime Blondie. See how you like it’.

‘I was only trying to help’ Hutch said mildly as they lapsed into silence.

Starsky stared morosely out of the window. ‘It might never work again. Suzi never managed to get as far as…..Oh my God what of I can’t……do it? What if there’s permanent damage?’ a look of panic flitted across the handsome face.

‘Relax. It just hurts. It’ll be fine! The world will still get treated to lots of little Starsky’s running around in big flash red cars’.


‘But it was swollen and blue and…..Oh my God Hutch. What if its broken? I read an article once….’

‘You? Read? You mean you looked at the pictures!’

‘Shuddup. I read an article once about this guy. An’ he’d had an accident and it broke. It had a definite break in it. It was all bent over to one side half way up, like it was pointin’ round a corner. Shit, what if it’s broken?’

‘And where exactly did you read that? The Lancet? The New Scientist? Tell me. Which learned tome did you get that one out of?’

‘Reader’s Digest’ Starsky said defensively. ‘But it was real an’ I think mine might be….ya know…..’

Hutch slammed down the book he was trying to read by the light of the street lamp. ‘Starsky, what d’ya want me to do? You want to drop your pants and let me look at it huh? Shall I put an itty bitty splint on it for ya? Look, buddy, I know it hurts, but you’ll get over it. Just go an’ lie down in the back of the car and take the pressure off. Unzip your jeans or somethin’! Look on the bright side’.

‘What bright side?’

‘Well if it is broken, you’ll be able to pee round corners!’

‘You’re all heart, ya know that. Here I am, 27, not married yet and now with no prospect of giving the future Mrs Starsky the night of her life. I’m defective’.

Hutch snorted. ‘Could’a told ya that before he beat your erm….tackle into submission!’

Starsky looked aggrieved and carefully, and with a lot of grunting, wedged himself into the back seat, bracing one leg against the window and dangling the other over the back of the seat, near Hutch’s shoulder. Within minutes, the brunet was asleep, his gentle snores filling the silence in the car as Hutch looked on in a mixture of amusement and annoyance. How come he could snatch maybe a five minute nap while his partner could sleep anywhere, even, he thought, if you pegged him onto a clothes line, by his ears.


By morning, both men had managed a couple of hours sleep and seen nothing more than 3 cats and an owl. They stretched lazily as the sun came up and Hutch dry scrubbed his face, squinting into the bright light. He yawned loudly

‘D’you want to report the exciting night we’ve just had?’ he asked. ‘Before we finally get to turn in’.

‘Uh huh. Gimme the mic.’

Starsky carefully manoeuvred himself into the front seat again, groaning as his still sore body touched the cold leather seat. He grabbed the small black handset and pressed the button.

‘This is Zebra 3 to central requesting a patch through to Captain Regan’.

‘The voice on the other end came back to him. ‘Is that you Starsky? Captain Regan went home about 10:00 last night. I think he left a message he’d be in about 10:00 this morning. Shall I try anyone else for you?’

The two men looked at each other in disbelief. They’d just worked 20 hours out of 24 and Regan was giving himself time off already. Angrily Starsky pressed the button. ‘No. thanks. We’re on our way in’.

He put the mic. down and stared at it as though it would leap up and do a song and dance for him. ‘Can you believe that guy? Short of men! So he hauls our asses back in to work and toddles off home for the night. Fine. That’s the way he wants it. Enough is enough. I’m gonna go down there and be ready when he finally deigns to get his huge muscular butt back into work’.

‘Is that wise?’ Hutch asked with a small smile on his face. ‘I mean unless you want another elbow in the erm….well, it’s your ass buddy’.

‘I can’t just sit back and take this. It’s not just affecting me its you too. Just lemme talk t’ him ok?’ He set the car in motion and drove back into town, arriving at the metro a little before 9:45. As he drew up alongside the big stone building ready to pull into his customary parking spot, he saw a large dark blue Caddy pull in, in front of him. The brunet was just about to honk his horn when he saw Regan get out, look directly at him, then swagger into the building.

‘That just about does it!’ Starsky muttered darkly. He pulled into the garage at the back and Hutch followed the stiff spined brunet as he limped up the steps and out onto the second floor, marching haltingly along to the office Regan was using. He pushed the door open and went in as Regan looked up.

‘I didn’t hear a knock’.

‘Don’t worry, you aint deaf. I didn’t knock’.

‘Is there something you want to say Davey boy?’ Regan’s voice held a hint of aggression.

‘Just one or two things’.

Regan looked over Starsky’s shoulder at the blond. ‘I think this is private, Hutchinson. Wait outside’. It was a command, not a request, but Hutch hesitated.

‘Anything that affects my partner has to do with me…..Cap’n’ he said mildly.

Regan stood suddenly, knocking the desk so that the coffee cup he had been drinking from wobbled precariously. ‘I told you to wait outside. It wasn’t open for debate’.

The blond help up a conciliatory hand and looked at Starsky. Indigo eyes locked on his in silent communication. S’ok buddy. I won’t do nuthin stupid.

As Hutch backed out and closed the door behind him softly, Regan walked around to the front of his desk, feet from the angry brunet.

‘Ya got something to say Davey?’ he taunted.

‘Plenty. I thought you’d be man enough to forget whatever happened all those years ago. Obviously I was wrong. You want to screw around with my life, fine. But you leave Hutch out of this, ya hear?’ he pointed his finger at the huge man.

‘Oh but you’ve got it all wrong Davey. Hutch is part of your life. That sickeningly close partnership you’ve got goin’. And what hurts Hutch hurts you. I’ve waited a long time to get back at the guy who fucked my life up time and again. And now I have the opportunity, I’m gonna enjoy every damned minute, and there aint nothing you can do about it coz it’s all legit.’.

‘You’ll never believe I didn’t want to fuck Sienna will ya?’ Starsky said, his eyes blazing pools of sapphire fire. ‘And I had no idea what was goin’ down afterwards. You might recall I got dropped off a roof. I was out of it for days! I had no idea you had t’ leave’.

‘Ya-dy ya. Whatever. You don’t get it do ya Davey? That tiny little mind of yours just don’t see the big picture. This isn’t about my sister any more. This is about you two fucking up my entire life’ the big man pushed himself up from the desk and advanced on Starsky slowly, like a hyena spotting a corpse to devour.

‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’ the brunet said, his eyes never leaving Regan.

‘You think I didn’t know Helen had been your girl? You think I didn’t know about her stalker? Think again buddy boy’. Regan made a dive for Starsky pushing him back against the door of the office with such force that the handle rammed into his back, above his kidney, the pain taking the brunet’s breath away as he tried to stop the contents of his stomach making an impromptu reappearance.

Starsky gasped through the pain. ‘You knew about Helen being followed and you did nothing? You son of a bit…..’ his word were cut off as a fist connected with his stomach and he bent over, falling to his knees as he strove to draw breath.

‘Oh sure I knew. But you know women. They’d never listen’ Regan bent down and taking hold of Starsky’s collar he dragged the smaller man to his feet so that he could stare into the brunet’s eyes.

‘Make one wrong move and Helen won’t be the only blond who gets hurt. Remember, I know where Hutch is every second of the day! Be careful. You do exactly as I say, or your partner’ll suffer. Got that? Now. Take a second to get your breath, then you’ll go back out there and act like nothing’s happened. I expect you to be back on duty this afternoon’. Regan looked at his watch. ‘Its 10:30 now. You and your partner will be back here by….2:30 and be prepared for another night staking out Snowy White. Another night in your car ought to reinforce our little conversation.

Chapter 11

Starsky took a few minutes to compose himself as Regan leaned casually against his desk. The pains in the brunet’s back and stomach had died down to a dull and all pervading ache which vied with the old pains in the centre of his body and his ankle for which could annoy and grind him down the most. All the time the horrible wheezing breaths were whistling around the room, Regan stood and watched, no compassion or sympathy in his eyes. Just cold hatred, and despite the fact that Starsky was in no way fully recovered from the unprovoked attack, he pushed himself up from the chair into which he’d sagged and put his hand on the handle of the door. As he began to depress the handle, Regan cleared his throat, stopping the curly haired cop in his tracks.

‘Remember. One word of this, one more complaint. If I even hear one smart ass wisecrack, I know where your partner is. Is that clear?’

‘Crystal’ Starsky spat, opening the door.

As he walked out into the squad room, he tried to straighten himself up ignoring the terrible pull on the damaged muscles in his back and stomach. He’d managed to wipe the sweat from his face while he’d been in Regans’ room, but nothing could disguise the pale face or the look of pain in his eyes. And Hutch was so used to reading his partner’s body that nothing escaped him at all. He rushed over to Starsky and guided him to a chair.

‘Hey, buddy. Are you ok? You look like shit!’

Stormy indigo eyes looked back at him. But Starsky just nodded and smiled weakly. ‘I think I just need a lie down’ he muttered, his mind in turmoil. He had no concept of a guy who could hold a grudge for so long. All this because of one night with his sister? It didn’t make any sense at all. But for now, he’d do as Pete commanded and keep his own counsel. It was more important to keep Hutch safe than it was to settle old scores. He stood and pulling his partner with him, he headed for the door.

‘C’mon buddy. The Great White Massa has given us a few hours off. After that he wants us back here for 2:30’.

‘2:30? He’s got to be kidding. That’s less than 4 hours off. Let me go talk to him huh? You need to rest, you look like roadkill’.

‘NO…no, it’s ok. M’fine. Just leave it huh? Leave it. We can deal with it later. Lets go and find somewhere here where we can bunk down for a couple’a hours. Some sleep’ll make everythin’ better’. He shouldered his way past Hutch and set off down the corridor down to the sick bay in the basement. Smiling winningly at the nurse there, they managed to “borrow” two beds and a promise of a wake up call at 2:15 in time for their next shift.

While the blond settled down on the bed and was asleep almost instantly, Pete’s words sounded round and round in Starsky’s head. There was something about what he’d said that rang warning bells in the curly head and he tried to replay their conversation over again.

Oh but you’ve got it all wrong Davey. Hutch is part of your life. That sickeningly close partnership you’ve got goin’. And what hurts Hutch hurts you. I’ve waited a long time to get back at the guy who fucked my life up time and again. And now I have the opportunity, I’m gonna enjoy every damned minute, and there aint nothing you can do about it coz it’s all legit.’.

Well so much was true. Although fairly barbaric. He was their designated Captain and as such he could sort out duty rosters and allocate assignments as he saw fit. As for threatening either of them? Well, Starsky knew he’d only have a short time before Regan was booted back to his own patch. But during that time, it was apparent that his childhood adversary was going to make his life as difficult as possible. There was something else though. Some other motivation for the anger and the vicious behaviour.

You don’t get it do ya Davey? That tiny little mind of yours just don’t see the big picture. This isn’t about my sister any more. This is about you two fucking up my entire life………….’You think I didn’t know Helen had been your girl? You think I didn’t know about her stalker? Think again buddy boy’.

That was it.

This is about you two fucking up my entire life…

What he’d been trying to remember. The implication that Regan had allowed Helen to be put into danger and had done nothing to stop her from being killed and that both he and Hutch had something to do with Regan being so angry. Not Sienna or his schooldays at all! Starsky sat upright on the bed, ignoring the aches and pains his body was throwing at him. He ran his fingers through his curls, grabbing a handful of hair and pulling it as though the action would pull the thoughts clearly from his head. What did Regan mean by them fucking his life up?

Gingerly and quietly so as not to rouse Hutch, Starsky got off the bed, picked up his sneakers and padded out of the small room, He wedged his feet into his shoes, groaning as the swollen ankle rebelled once more, then limped out of the sick bay and up to R&I. Bernie, the officer in charge of the research part of the Metro nodded to him cheerily as he hobbled in.

‘Starsky! What brings you to my lair? You usually just ring in with some impossible task to be done in a crazy time frame. Coming to do your own stuff now huh?’

The brunet grinned. ‘Yeah, it looked safer than bein’ out there’ he jerked his head towards the door. ‘Listen Bernie, I know this is your patch, but there’s something I wanna look at and you’re best not knowing about it…..if you get my drift?’

‘You know I’ll do anything I can to help’ the older man said immediately.

‘I know, and thanks. But I wasn’t here, an’ you didn’t see me, ok?’

Bernie smiled. ‘Whatever you say! I’m just gonna be standing over there, ignoring the hell out of you then’.

Starsky nodded his thanks and set to looking through staff records on the micro fiche for the neighbouring precincts. He found Helen’s file and quickly ran his eyes over her career history, each job, each citation bringing a lump to his throat. Clearing his head of what he classed as romantic mumbo jumbo, he looked for Regan’s file next.

The big man had had a charmed career. Although never decorated for bravery or meritorious conduct he seemed to be in the right place at the right time and had passed his lieutenants and captains exams with good results. When Starsky looked at his address, he was amazed to find that he lived out of town in a prosperous area of San Diego in a large house right on Ocean Beach. Starsky shook his head. Captains earned more than he did, but unless Regan had private funding, how could he afford to live there?

He closed the micro fiche down and stood up, groaning at his tightened, damaged muscles.

‘Thanks Bernie. I need to use your phone. Do you want to be deaf too, or maybe ya wanna step outside for a coffee break?’

The uniformed man looked at the younger cop and grinned. ‘Ya know, you look like shit. We could always do with another pair of hands in here. Looks as though you could do with a little less excitement’.

‘It ain’t the job, it’s the mileage’ Starsky replied ruefully, stretching his back gently. ‘The phone?’

‘Sure thing. I’ll be having a cigarette outside’ Bernie said, closing the door softly behind him.

Swiftly, Starsky ran his finger down a list of telephone numbers, stopping at one. He punched in the numbers on the telephone and waited. ‘Hi this is Sergeant Dave Starsky, I’d like to speak to Lieutenant Berkovitz please?’ he waited, drumming his fingers on the desk until a deep resonant voice came onto the phone.


‘Is that Radek Berkovitz? Hi it’s Dave Starsky in Bay City. I was a friend of….’

‘Helen’s , yes, she spoke of you. How can I help Sergeant?’

‘I erm….I took down Commander Jim, the guy who killed Helen, but there’s something still not right, something the Captain said. I need to talk to you, one to one?’

‘Is this to do with your new Captain?’ Berkovitz asked in his forthright manner.

The question took the brunet by surprise. ‘What do you mean?’

There was a snort at the other end of the phone. ‘Hey we all know what Captain Regan is like. We all get a break for 2 weeks and now you have him. He ain’t what you’d call “Mr Popular” ya know.

‘Really! Ya do surprise me. So tell me what you know’.

‘Well we know he lives above his means. He has a big house, couple of flash cars. He has part shares in a yacht moored in the marina and has been taking flying lessons. Considering his parents died penniless, our Peter has done real well for himself’.

‘Sounds like it!’ Starsky admitted, his mind in a whirl. ‘Has anyone ever asked him about it?’

Again the soft snort. ‘Would you want to ask him? All I know is that the IA have had their eye on him for a year or so although they’ve relaxed their hold of late. Seems they got big bonuses in their pay checks and new cars too and suddenly they’ve gone quiet’.

Starsky gripped the phone harder. ‘Thanks Radek. This has been…..interestin’. Take care!’

Slowly he put the phone down, never hearing the quiet click on the other end. He ran his hand through his hair again and limped out, back to the small room and his bed. He lay down on it and closed his eyes, never expecting to be able to go back to sleep. But the damage his body had sustained and the long hours he’d worked overtook him and his eyes slowly closed.

He was back on the rooftop, dangling upside down over the edge of the roof as Pete’s face smiled down at him.

Are you going to ask nicely? Are you going to plead with me to let you up? Pete’s voice sounded in his nightmare, the voice he’d never truly forgotten in the intervening years. He felt himself kicking out at the boys holding onto his legs; he felt their grip on his legs loosening and then he felt the sickening freefall feeling and the hard ground beneath him.

Starsky cried out in his sleep, screaming once as he felt his body slam into the ground and the sound brought Hutch instantly awake. He pushed himself off the bed and staggered to his partner’s side.

‘Starsk. Hey, Starsky wake up. Wake up buddy, Ssh, so’k. C’mon wake up’.

Slowly Starsky’s eyes opened and looked confusedly around him before settling on the baby blues above him.


‘Yeah, where were you there buddy? Back in ‘Nam again? Haven’t seen you in a nightmare so bad for a while’.

The brunet pushed himself up, groaning at is pains afresh. ‘No, not ‘Nam. A whole different battlefield’.

‘Yeah. Want to tell me?’ Hutch asked, perching on the edge of the bed next to his sweating partner.

‘It was a long time ago’.

‘To do with Regan?’

Troubled indigos looked up at him in surprise. ‘Yeah. How did ya…..?’

‘How long have we known each other? Tell me huh? Then I can understand what this shit is all about’ Hutch urged.

‘OK’ Starsky sighed. ‘I told ya some of already. The part with Sienna? Well Pete didn’t like me seeing her and…’

‘You said he “registered his displeasure”. What does that mean?’

The brunet snorted. ‘He and his friends decided to jump me the next night after school had finished. Ever wondered why I hate heights? Well its coz they got me up onto the roof, held me upside down off the edge for a while whilst I struggled, and then they dropped me’.

‘Jeez Starsk!’

The curly haired cop grinned wryly at the memory. ‘Yeah right. I remember coming to on the ground thinking that I’d never expected to live to see anything again. I was shit scared, an’ it stuck with me. I’ve hated ‘em ever since’.

‘How bad were you hurt?’ Hutch asked softly, seeing the pain it had caused his friend to recall the painful experience.

‘I broke my right wrist and my left ankle and fractured my cheekbone. Then I got an infection and ended up in the hospital with a fever for a few days. When I was ready to get back to school, Regan’s family had moved out of the area. I guess he still blames me’.

‘Its no reason to treat you like he has been. Maybe we should tell Dobey’ Hutch said.

‘No. We don’t so anything. We just suck it up an’ count the days till he’s gone’ Starsky said fiercely.

‘Whatever’ Hutch replied, pushing himself off the bed, but the brunet caught his arm and pulled him back.

‘I mean it Hutch. Don’t do nuthin huh? Just let it be. Promise?’

Chapter 12

3:00pm saw the detectives back sitting outside Snowy White’s house in the quiet side street they’d occupied the previous evening. Nothing had changed save that the owl had been replaced by a couple of small brown birds. And the cats that had stalked mice and lizards during the night were now lying in the sunshine, very still apart from the very ends of their tails which flicked lazily once in a while.

Since Starsky had told his partner about what Pete and his cronies had done to him, Hutch had been quiet, his mind still reeling at the revelation. Now, as they sat in the car, he couldn’t help taking a sidelong look at the brunet.

‘Why didn’t you tell me about your and Pete’s history?’ he asked quietly.

‘Not much to tell. It was half a lifetime ago an’ I honestly thought that the guy would be man enough to forget all about it. Sheesh!, it was me that got myself pretty much mashed, he walked away without a scratch. Dunno. I just thought he’d have forgotten’.

Hutch smiled. Just like his partner to think that everyone was as forgiving as him. ‘It just shows what a real good judge of character you are, Gordo’.

‘Ya think?’ Starsky grinned, then winced and looked away.

‘Hey, are you still hurtin’?’ Hutch asked.

The brunet tried to chuckle, but his back and stomach were too sore and he stopped half way. ‘M’ok. Guess I’m tired ya know. Lets just sit an’ watch this creep then we can get home an’ get some shut eye’.

They lapsed into silence for a while, each lost in their own thoughts, gazing steadfastly out of the window at the large house on the corner lot. Starsky was trying to decide whether he should warn Hutch about Regan’s threats, but finally decide against it, knowing his partner would only react by cornering Regan for a showdown.

Suddenly there was a movement inside the house, the flicker of a curtain at the window. The two detectives sat up straighter in their seats, eyes intent now on their quarry and all thoughts of Regan and the Metro temporarily shelved.

‘Looks like he’s comin’ out’ Starsky said, reaching for his gun to check the ammo.

‘Hey, Regan said watch him and tail him’.

‘Well the best way to watch him is with a hand on his collar right?’ Starsky said, thankful to be doing something other than sitting in his car. He put his hand on the door handle as White opened his front door and waked out into the afternoon sun.

The brunet got out of the car slowly and carefully and with a shrug of his shoulders, Hutch joined him, squatting down by the side of the car to avoid being seen. They watched as White made his way to the car. The man was easy to spot and it was equally easy to decipher why he’d been given his nickname. The flake had snow white hair – as snowy white as the cocaine he so secretly pedalled on the streets.

‘Hutch he’s going for his car’ Starsky said diving back inside the Torino. He gunned the engine and as White drove his own car off the drive, Starsky began to follow, carefully and at a distance.

They’d been driving for about 15 minutes, weaving their way through the traffic, always a couple of cars behind their target when suddenly White made a swift left turn. Starsky jabbed at the break pedal and followed just in time to see White take another right turn.

‘He’s made us’ Hutch said unnecessarily as the brunet floored the gas pedal to follow. Hutch slammed the mars light onto the roof and hit the siren switch and suddenly the quiet tail had been replaced by a full blooded chase through the start of the evening rush hour.

Hutch saw the muscles in his partner’s jaw working as Starsky nursed his baby through the growing traffic, always on White’s tail but never quite catching up to him. Eventually, it seemed, their target too had had enough of the growing number of cars on the roads and made a turn out of town towards the hills behind the city. As they gained the quieter roads, Starsky gunned the big V8 engine harder, pushing the Torino to its limits as they swerved around the tight corners and hairpin bends up into the hills. White realised that the two were gaining on him and took another sudden turn to the right, heading down a narrow dirt track as the big red car bumped along behind him. Both vehicles kicked up a shroud of dust that hung in the air like a caramel veil, hiding the leading car from view for seconds at a time. Starsky wound down the window so that he could hear more of what was going on and realised the note of the lead car had changed, slowing down. He slammed his sneakered foot down onto the break pedal just in time, as the cloud of dust cleared for a second and he saw White’s car pull to a halt.

Hutch was out of the Torino in a trice, his big Colt drawn and cocked ready for the fight he knew would surely follow. He looked around quickly seeing Starsky getting out, his own weapon readied too. White had set off running for the cover of a stand of trees up the hill and the blond stretched his long legs, following full tilt. Starsky started to follow, but within seconds, his various pains had brought him to a standstill and he was forced to watch his partner charge up the hill on his own. As he watched, he saw White pause on the crest of the hill and raise his weapon. Hutch couldn’t see his quarry and had no idea what was about to happen.

The brunet lurched forward, pushing himself to his limits as he yelled to his partner


Starsky levelled his gun at White, realising belatedly that the distance was too great for him to get an accurate shot. He saw Hutch look around, then there was an explosion, a bright flash from the muzzle of White’s gun and Hutch launched himself to one side, hitting the ground with a bone shuddering crunch. The brunet pushed himself forward again, loosing off three more shots in White’s direction and having the satisfaction of seeing the drug merchant go down, clutching his stomach.

The climb up the hill took the rest of Starsky’s strength and by the time he found Hutch he was panting and sweaty and out of breath. He collapsed onto the ground by the side of the blond who was face down in the dirt and gently rolled him over with a shaking hand. Hutch’s eyes opened and he groaned, his hands going down to cup his groin. He clenched his teeth and breathed shallowly, puffing the air out between pursed lips. Blood blossomed across the top of his thighs, staining his blue pants crimson and Starsky’s eyes widened.

‘Hutch? Where’s it got ya babe?’ He gently forced the hands away as Hutch moaned and closed his eyes, his face losing any remaining colour it might have had. Gently the brunet took his small penknife and sliced through the blue material on the crotch of the pants, pulling the fabric to one side so that he could see the wound and bracing himself for what he might find.

The bullet had hit Hutch on the very top of his inner thigh, a glancing blow which, by some miracle, had missed everything that would be vital for ensuring the next generation of Hutchinsons. But the wound was bleeding freely – a little too freely and Starsky took off his shirt and tee shirt, wadding up the soft material and pushing it against the wound, He took Hutch’s belt from the loops in his pants and wrapped that around the top of his thigh, holding the cotton in place and providing much needed pressure. As he tightened the belt, Hutch let out another shuddering groan and opened his eyes.

‘How bad?’ he managed to gasp.

‘Well, its missed your wedding tackle, but its bleedin’ a lot. I need to get you to the hospital. And I need to find where White is. I think I took him down. Can you hang on while I go check?’

Hutch managed a weak nod and Starsky pushed himself up to his feet. But the exertions of the climb combined with the maltreatment Regan had meted out had taken their toll and he collapsed back to the ground with a groan which equalled his partner’s in intensity. Hutch’s eyes flew open and for the first time he saw the blue black bruise on Starsky’s back, spreading right across the centre spine and to either side.

‘Where d’ya….get that?’ he grunted.


‘Bruise….. dummy’.

Starsky realised too late that in taking his shirt off he’d revealed the injury he’s been trying to hide. ‘When I fought with Pete in the gym’ he lied.

‘Uh huh…..not buyin’ Hutch gasped. ‘He didn’t….get ya there’.

‘Shuddup Hutch. I’m gonna go an’ radio for an ambulance. Stay put, I’ll be back’.

Hutch put out a hand and snagged his partner’s arm.

‘Have you fought since?’

The indigo eyes evaded his partner as Starsky pushed himself up again. ‘Don’t run away partner. Be back in a minute’ he said and turned, gingerly making his limping way back down the hillside to the car.


Three hours later, White had been found with a bullet wound to his stomach at the top of the hill, and while one stretcher too him to Memorial, another ambulance had taken both Starsky and Hutch to the same hospital.

Now, with a fresh bandage on his ankle and pain meds for the bruised kidney, Starsky sat by the side of his partner in the small ER room. Hutch looked pale, but with a drip delivering much needed pain relief into the back of his hand, he had an idiotic smile on his face and a large pack of ice on his crotch.

‘So the Hutchinsons live to fight another day’ the brunet said softly.

‘Hm hm. I counted. Little Kenny is still in company with both dangly bits. Just need t’make sure they all still work’ the blond smiled. ‘An I want to bottle this stuff’ he held up his needle punctured hand. ‘Feels sooooo good!’

Starsky snorted. ‘Go t’sleep buddy. I’m gonna call in, then go home and get some rest’.

‘Yeah? Can I come too?’

‘No. Doc says the bullet snicked your femoral artery. Ya lost a lot of blood Blondie. They want to give you a transfusion overnight’.

‘Don’t want one!’ Hutch said petulantly, his face falling at the prospect of a night in hospital.

‘I don’t think you’ve got a whole lot of choice there Pal. Just lie back an’ let the pretty nurses look after ya huh? How’s it feel?’

‘Like I got kicked in the balls by an elephant. How’s it look?’

Starsky lifted the corner of the sheet covering the centre of Hutch’s body and whistled softly. ‘Like ya got kicked in the balls by an elephant. Put it this way. If you were that size normally, without the swelling, ya’d have the girls queuing up!’

‘Yeah? Who says I don’t already?’ Hutch said dreamily.

‘Ok, have a good dream Blintz!’

Starsky got up, stifling the groan and was about to go for the door when Hutch’s eyes opened again.



‘It was Regan, wasn’t it?’

‘What was?’ Starsky asked quietly.

‘That gave ya those bruises’.

Starsky grinned. ‘Go dream about the nurses Blondie. I’ll see ya tomorrow’.


That night, Starsky eased himself into bed after washing down one of the Tramadol pills the doctors had give him. He didn’t usually like to take pills, but the thought of a night without the misery of his aches and pains was seductive and as he snuggled his head onto the cool pillow, sleep over took him quickly.

He didn’t hear the soft click of the door opening. And he didn’t see the dark figure insinuating itself into the room and blending into the shadows there. Neither did he see the figure cross to the bed and pause a moment, looking down at his sleeping form. The first thing he knew of the intruder was the feeling of suffocation.

Chapter 13

Starsky tried to bring up his arms to knock away the hand over his mouth, but they were pinned above his head. He was suffocating, the panic he felt making his breathing all the more difficult and he felt the wavering sickly feeling in his stomach as the lack of oxygen took a hold of him. His eyes flew open and registered sickened surprise as he recognised the owner of his fleshy gag.

Above him loomed the huge bulk of Pete Regan, his angry face cracked by an evil grin as he enjoyed the rapidly weakening struggles beneath him.

‘Wakey wakey Davey boy. You’ve been a bad boy, haven’t ya?’ the slimy voice sounded above the wheezing breaths pervading the room. Regan removed his hand from Starsky’s mouth while his other hand still held onto the detectives’ wrists in a vice like, bruising grip above Starskys head, snicking the cuffs through the headboard and around his captives forearms, immobilising him.

Starsky stopped struggling and glared back at his tormentor, trying to regain his breath and wondering what this visit had in store.

‘What the fuck d’ya want, Pete?’ he gasped between breaths

‘I’m here to warn you, boy. You get in my way one more time and you’ll live to regret it!’

He let go of the brunet’s wrists and Starsky immediately wriggled away from him, biting back the groan that lingered on his lips. He longed to pull the sheet up across his otherwise naked body, feeling vulnerable while his captor was fully dressed, and glared at the bigger man.

‘What warning? What’ve I done?’

‘Well, so far two infringements of my rules. The first is you went after White when I told you to watch him only. And look what happened then. You were almost partnered with a eunoch! Poor Hutchinson, laying in that hospital bed! The second infringement is far more serious’. The man’s face took on a harder look, the moonlight in the room highlighting Regan’s face, casting a cold black shadow across it.

‘You’ve been making telephone calls behind my back. And that, I can’t tolerate’. Slowly and deliberately he reached over and his steely fingers dug into the huge black bruise across the brunet’s back, grinding them into the damaged muscle. Starskys body writhed on the bed, sweat beading on his torso and face, but he clamped his lips shut, refusing to allow Pete to see how much pain he’d caused.

Regan’s face was inches away from the brunet’s. ‘You didn’t take me seriously. Ya know what happens when you don’t take me seriously?’ he asked icily.

‘I’m guessin’ I’m gonna find out’ Starsky mumbled, his voice husky with the pain.

Regan took the photograph of Hutch he’d taken from the frame in the brunet’s living room. He held it up and with his other hand, impaled the image with a thin stiletto knife, the blade bisecting Hutch’s smiling face.

‘Any more delving into affairs that don’t concern you, Davey boy, and it won’t just be the picture that gets split in half. Got that?’

Starsky gazed at the ruined picture, anger and fear vying with each other for dominance in his mind. He turned the full sapphire force of his eyes on Regan. ‘You’ll never get away with this ya sick bastard’ he spat out.

‘Oh but I am getting away with it. And you’re not gonna do a damned thing to get in my way. That’s the thing about partnerships like yours, you see. They can be used as great leverage. I know where your partner is and I’m gonna make sure I keep myself up to date with his movements. We wouldn’t want anything nasty to happen to him would we?’ Regan withdrew the knife from the picture and flung it blade first into the bed head board where it stuck, rocking from side to side.

He grabbed a handful of the curly hair and pulled Starsky’s head up so that the brunet’s shoulders creaked with the added pressure, then deliberately back handed the smaller man across the face with his fist. The blow was aimed at the cut he’d already delivered across the brunet’s cheek and the pain was so intense that the lights immediately winked out in the curly head.

Letting Starsky’s head fall limply back onto the pillow, Regan unfastened the cuffs and pocketed them, laying the tattered photograph on the pillow beside the unconscious man. Checking he’d left no other evidence of his visit, he got up and calmly waked out of the room, closing and carefully locking the front door again as he left.


Starsky woke groggily early the next morning and wondered for a moment why his head felt so huge and was aching so much. Then he remembered his unscheduled visitor in the middle of the night. Suddenly it seemed like a nightmare that had never really happened, a dark shadowy memory that had no substance. He looked up at the ceiling and the knife still sticking obscenely from the headboard brought the reality, and he groaned, running his fingers through his curls. What had Regan said? That Hutch would be in danger of he interfered any more? And Hutch was still in the hospital. Oh my God, Hutch! He leapt out of bed and stopped a moment to regain his balance as the dizziness threatened to reacquaint him with the floor. Pushing himself back from the wall, he dashed into the living room and reached for the telephone, dialling Memorial Hospital’s number.

‘Oh yeah, this is Dave Starsky. I came in yesterday with my partner, Ken Hutchinson. Can you tell me how he is?’ He drummed his fingers against the table until the news came back that Hutch had slept well, had had his transfusions and would probably be allowed home later than day.

‘That’s great. Can you get a message to him please? Can you tell him Starsk will be there to collect him and not to go with anyone else? Tell him Pete gave orders. He’ll understand’.

Putting the phone down, Starsky got himself a mouthful of fruit juice from the fridge, then made his decision. He dialled another number and asked to be put through to Radek Berkovitz.

‘Berkovitz? Yeah. Starsky. Listen, you were saying that Regan has some erm, expensive life style traits? Well how would ya like to get to the bottom of how he finances ‘em?’

‘Would I? The whole precinct wants to know buddy. Why? Have you discovered his wicked secret?’ Berkovitz asked, a certain note of interest in his voice.

‘Not yet, but believe me, if it’s there t’find, I’m gonna find it. I just need you to keep him busy for the rest of today. Be creative. Anything to stop him going home or phoning his wife’.

‘Sure thing, buddy’ Berkovitz said. ‘You’re in luck with the wife though. Sandy is in the Hawaiian Islands. They have another property there. I know she’ll be away till Sunday coz Regan was moaning that he hated the way the maid made is coffee in the morning’.

The brunet snorted. ‘Another house and a maid huh? Jeez, I gotta nail this creep. Can you do it Radek? Keep him away?’

‘Anything to help, my friend’ the answer came back readily and as Starsky put the phone down the brunet grinned. One thing Dobey had learned early on when Hutch and Starsky had first joined the squad was that while they could be fiercely loyal, and in fact were, to their own Captain, they both hated two things, dirty cops and dirty cops who flaunted their ill gotten gains. The brunet had a plan.

Starsky gathered his holster, gun, shield and cuffs and his battered brown leather jacket and went out to the car. Fifteen minutes later saw him back at Memorial and in the small room with Hutch. The blond looked a little pale and there were pain lines around his eyes, but his handsome face cracked into a grin when he saw his partner.

‘How’s it hangin’?’ Starsky asked

‘Well considering the place I got shot, that’s a pretty good question’ Hutch grinned. ‘But I feel ok. Actually I feel fine. Sometime soon that cute little brunette nurse with the enormous assets is gonna discover I’m faking it’ Hutch grinned. ‘How ‘bout you?’

‘I’m good. I’m goin’ huntin’.

‘Uh huh? And I take it you’re not after bears?’

‘Nope, somethin’ more slippery. I’m goin’ after Regan’.

Hutch’s face clouded. ‘Regan? Be careful buddy. You know he’s out for your hide, an’ I have the feeling he’s taken the gloves off on this little vendetta. You need backup’.

‘Yeah, ya think? Listen Hutch. If you’re getting’ out of here today. Don’t go with anyone else till I get back huh? I’ll come by for ya later’.

The golden head turned on the pillow. ‘Why would I go home with anyone else? I always go home with you’, He saw the intensity in his partner’s face. ‘Hey. Has something happened? Something else?’

Starsky sighed. He needed Hutch to understand just how important it was for him to remain visible, with people around him and the only way to do that was to tell him everything.

‘Well, our friend Regan paid me a little visit last night. In the middle of the night. Just to let me know that if I don’t behave he’s got you in his sights’.

‘And why does he think you’re not behaving?’ Hutch asked carefully.

‘Coz he somehow found out that I’d contacted his precinct to ask questions’.


‘Hutch, he knew about Helen’s stalker and he knew she was dead. She also knew she was my ex. And he threatened that if I “investigated” his lifestyle any more he’s gonna get to me through you. He’s as dirty a cop as I’ve ever seen and even if we didn’t have the bad history between us, I need to find out what his scam is. So, I need ya to stay here Blintz. Stay here an’ wait for me to come get ya’.

But Hutch had other plans. He was already getting out of bed and pushing the nurse call button. He stood at the side of the bed, to get his balance then looked around, searching. ‘There’s no way I’m gonna let you do that on your own Starsk. I’m getting outa here. Where’s my pants?’

‘Hey, that’s my line!’ Starsky grinned. ‘They cut ’em off ya to get to your erm….’ he nodded at the white bandage around Hutch’s upper leg. ‘You shouldn’t be going anywhere, Blondie. Get back t’bed’.

But the steely gaze stopped him from saying more. Starsky held his hand up in defeat. ‘Ok ok. But you’re gonna stay in the car an’ rest. Got that?’

The blond grinned. ‘Yes Mom’.

‘I mean it. I’ve got Berkovitz keeping Pete busy so I’ve got chance to get round to his house to search it. I need to be in an’ out quick. Are you up to it?’

Hutch limped to the small wardrobe in his room and took out his tee shirt and over shirt. ‘Get me a pair of pants an’ I’m with ya. I’ll be fine. I’ve had two pints of the good stuff and I’m raring to go’. He limped back to the bed and sat down on the edge with a wince.

‘You also look like you’re walking bow legged Blintz. I don’t know’.

‘Makes two of us then, don’t it?’ Hutch grinned

At that moment a nurse arrived, looking at her now ambulatory patient. ‘Mr Hutchinson! Should you be out of bed?’

Hutch rolled his eyes skywards as Starsky chimed in ‘That’s what I asked him’.

‘I’m fine. I’m going home. No more blood, no more bed baths. I’m fine’ he said with an air of finality.

Chapter 14

After calling at Hutch’s apartment for some proper clothes, the two detectives found themselves driving out of town and south along the coast to the prosperous area outside Ocean Beach, San Diego. As they got closer, the larger houses started to line the road and they turned inland a little looking for Regan’s address.

Finding themselves on a long tree lined avenue, Starsky slowed the Torino to a crawl as they counted off the houses, finally drawing up outside a large lemon yellow two storey mansion house guarded by high iron gates and surrounded by tall trees along the length of its substantial driveway. Without the benefit of keys, the brunet pulled the car up a hundred yards down the road and got out.

Looking like mirror images of each other, the two man limped back and followed the high wall around the perimeter of the property, looking for a way in. Around at the back, there was a small unassuming looking wooden gate and Hutch pushed his shoulder against the crumbling paintwork feeling it give beneath his muscles. He stood back, then pushed harder with his shoulder and the rusty hinges gave with a creak and a shudder. Looking surprised he grinned at his partner.

‘Not the most careful guy in the world, is he?’

‘Nope. Fortunately for us it would appear that our Pete is all top show. As Ma so colourfully puts it, “fur coat and no panties”. C’mon’. Starsky lead the way into the walled garden and made straight for the back door of the house. There was a small, locked door at the side and at the back, looking out onto the swimming pool and hot tub were a set of French doors. Starsky rattled the handle a couple of times, but they were locked and he looked around self consciously before taking his pen knife out of his back pocket.

‘What’re ya doin’?’ Hutch hissed at him.

‘Either signs of a misspent youth, or more likely spending too much time with the whippos. I think we call it breaking and entering’. He bent and inserted a long thin metal implement from his pen knife into the lock, twisting and withdrawing it a few times before he gave a grin and pushed the door open. Both men walked inside and looked around. Hutch gave a low whistle.

‘He’s either won the lottery, or he’s into some expensive shit’ he said.

‘Uh huh. And apparently this is the tip of the iceberg. Berkovitz says he has a house in Hawaii, part shares in a yacht and god knows how much other stuff. He was complaining to the guys that he doesn’t like the way the maid makes his coffee!’

They looked around in awe at the opulent, slightly tasteless decoration in the room. Regan seemed to have incorporated every cruise ship, hotel and restaurant he’d ever seen into the design of the place and marble, leather, fur and velvet rubbed shoulders with guilt and gold framed mirrors and pictures. The effect was more than over the top and left Starsky feeling slightly queasy.

They left the garden room and explored the rest of the house. Each room seemed to outdo the last in the tasteless stakes and by the time they’d made it upstairs to the bedrooms, Hutch too was beginning to feel a little giddy with the effects.

Here too, the rooms were large and dressed in either deep dark maroons and blues or fresh lemons and greens. The master bedroom was a place to behold, the bed being enormous and situated right in the centre of the room beneath a circular mirror placed on the ceiling and Starsky heard a soft snort behind him.

‘He’s got ideas from your room Starsk!’

‘Mine is tasteful and not like something out of a Casanova movie. And compared to this is downright plain! C’mon we haven’t’ got long. Let’s see what we can find up here. Berkovtz said that Sandy Regan had a liking for jewellery. See if there’s anything in the drawers over there’ he pointed to a guilt and white chest of drawers in the corner and Hutch walked over, opening the top drawer with a hand covered by a white handkerchief.

Starsky started to poke around in the wardrobe and under the bed, but was stopped when he heard a low whistle from the blond. He pushed himself out from under the bed and dusted off his knees. Obviously the maid didn’t vacuum under there very often!

‘What’cha got?’ he asked as he limped across the room to join his partner.

Hutch was intently looking at something in the chest of drawers and as Starsky bent over his shoulder, the breath hitched in his throat.

‘My God. Is that real?’

Hutch held up a huge emerald and diamond ring that Liz Taylor would have been proud to have received from Richard Burton. The central, fiery green stone must have been almost an inch long and half an inch wide and was surrounded by forty sparkling white diamonds.

‘Well if it is buddy, either Regan is a substantially rich guy, or he’s been knocking off jewellers shops. Look’.

He stood aside and the brunet saw that the white velvet lined drawer contained not just the emerald ring, but a sapphire ring which was almost as big, a set of smaller diamond rings, a diamond necklace and bracelet and some jewelled earrings.

‘I think we just hit the jackpot. There’s no way he could afford something like this. Not on his wages and I know for sure than his mom and Dad weren’t rich enough to leave him so much money. OK we have evidence. Now what d’we do with it?’

Hutch was still staring at the mother load. ‘I have no idea, but I think we’re looking at almost a million bucks’ he said in a hushed voice.

They sat down on the floor, the drawer still open and the gems reflecting the rainbow colours as the sunshine caught at their facets.

‘Where would Regan have got his money from?’ Starsky said, thinking aloud. ‘Or if not the money, where would he have got the gems from? Are they new?’

‘We need to get an expert in here’ Hutch said. ‘But even if they’re paste, they’re gonna be worth a small fortune. My Mom used to love jewellery and I remember Dad buying her a tiny diamond necklace. He told her what was a months salary…..and my Dad wasn’t the poorest guy on this earth’.

‘Ok well, we get some help then’ Starsky said, levering himself to his feet and helping Hutch up. They both grimaced at the move, straightened and looked around the room one more time. ‘Seems wherever he got his bucks, he didn’t spend ‘em on lessons in taste’ he grinned, walking to the door.

‘Starsk, aren’t you forgetting something?’ Hutch asked mildly.

The brunet held up the huge emerald ring, tossed it into the air and caught it before stuffing it into his jeans pocket. ‘No, I think I remembered just about everything’ he said happily as Hutch followed him out of the room.

They got to the top of the stairs and were just about to head down when Hutch held up his hand and stopped stock still, his eyes focussed on the hallway beneath them. The door opened slowly and the huge bulk of Pete Regan emerged from outside, closing the door behind him.

‘Juanita?’ he bellowed to no-one in particular. There was no answer and he tries again, louder. ‘Juanita! Get your bony butt over here now. I’m home and I want coffee, a donut and your ass on my bed in 15 minutes’.

There was the sound of scurrying stilettos on the marble tiles floor and a young girl dressed in every man’s wet dream of a maid’s outfit appeared. The short black skirt barely covered the essentials and was overlayed by a frilly white apron. Although neither detective was overly familiar with having a personal maid, Starsky was fairly sure that they didn’t usually wear seamed black stockings and 4 inch stiletto heels. She all but curtseyed in front of Regan, muttered something in Spanish that ended with Si Senior, then scurried away again.

The brunet and his partner had flattened their backs against the wall of the first floor landing, hiding their presence from Regan, but now, they heard his heavy footfall start to mount the stairs and Hutch looked desperately round for an exit route. He grabbed hold of Starsky’s arm and pulled him through a door on the blond’s left hand side, closing the door with a soft click just as Regan got to the top of the stairs. They collapsed back against the wall, breathing heavily even though they had covered barely 5 yards.

‘I thought you said Berkovitz had Regan covered’ Hutch hissed.

‘I thought he had too, but you know Pete. If he wants to do sumthin, there really aint a lot that’ll stop him. And right now, I think he wants to do the maid’ the brunet replied, his ear to the door.

‘He wants to do the maid’ Hutch echoed in a deep slow voice. ‘Jeez Starsk! Where’s your finesses?’

‘Have you got a better term for it?’

The blond paused a moment as they heard the tap tap of the girls heels on the solid floor again. ‘No, you’re right. He wants to do the maid’ he conceded.

There was the sound of the door to Regan’s bedroom opening and closing, accompanied by the lingering aroma of fresh coffee, and then, to their horror, the door opened again, a few more footfalls then the door to their hiding place opened. Both men tried to shoot for cover, but in their injured conditions neither got very far.

Turning slowly, and sure his badge if not his life was in jeopardy, Starsky was surprised to see the maid standing in the doorway, her finger over her lips in the universal sign for “be quiet”. Cautiously, Starsky retrieved his shield from his back pocket and held it up for the girl to see and she nodded, beckoning both men to follow her. Hutch cast a suspicious look at his partner, but they hesitantly followed the retreating back and shimmying tush down the hallway, away from the main stairs. There was a small, insignificant door in the corner of the landing and through this the maid pushed them, closing it behind her.

‘You are police?’ she asked.

‘Didn’t you now that before you came into the bedroom?’ Hutch replied.

Juanita giggled. ‘I liked the look of …..no. I didn’t know. You are friends of Senior Regan?’

‘Well we know him’ Starsky said ruefully.

‘But not friends’ she smiled, showing them down the flight of stairs which brought them out into a big kitchen.

‘Not exactly friends, no’ the brunet admitted. ‘How did you know we were there?’

The girl took them through to a small room off the kitchen and pointed at a bank of television screens on the wall, each showing a different part of the house. Hutch whistled. ‘Regan sure knows how to keep himself safe’.

‘Uh huh. But why? What’s he got here that’s so worth guarding? This is what those filmstar types have. Not working cop’ Starsky sounded puzzled. He turned back to Juanita. ‘Are ya gonna tell your boss we were here?’ he asked.

Juanita shook her head decisively. ‘No. I will not tell. Are you going to…….how do you say?...inves…….inv……’

‘Investigate him?’ Hutch offered and she nodded. ‘Yeah, we’re gonna investigate him. But are you ok? We heard him shouting. Does he expect more in the way of maid service?’

She nodded sadly, the grinned up at the blond. ‘It will be fine. I have my ways’ she said mysteriously.

‘Ways?’ Starsky asked.

The girl went to a small drawer in the kitchen and pulled out a brown glass bottle. She rattled it and the detectives heard the sounds of the pills. ‘Seniora Regan’s sleeping pills. I put one in his coffee, which he enjoys strong and black, so he doesn’t taste it. He will sleep for the rest of the day’ she said happily.

‘And are you going to tell him about us?’ Hutch asked

Juanita shook her head. ‘No, no. You can go out through the back door again, once he has gone to sleep. I will not tell him’.

Hutch reached down and dotted a small kiss on the girl’s cheek. ‘Thanks honey’ he smiled, as she melted into him.

Chapter 15

‘Well she obviously hates her boss’ Hutch said as they both got back into the Torino.

‘I don’t think it was Regan she was interested in’ the brunet grinned.


‘I think she has a soft spot for tall blonds’ Starsky chuckled. ‘Can’t imagine why, but it takes all sorts’.

‘Hey it’s my animal magnetism and charm. What more can I say?’ Hutch smiled. ‘So, next move?’

Starsky took the emerald ring from his pocket and held it up to the light so that the green fire within flared and illuminated the interior of the car. ‘I guess we find out about this little sucker’.

‘And how do you propose to do that?...Unless……What about that friend of Huggy’s? The one that keeps trying to sell you new watches’.

‘Ya mean the one with the Rolexes? Erm…Georgie. Georgie Papaspiliotopoulos’.

‘Copy Rolexes, yeah’ corrected Hutch ‘That’s the one. He should know. I know he does a line in fake watches but he also sells the good stuff’.

‘Ok, let’s go pay a visit to Papas then’. Starsky turned on the engine and drove across town finding the small back street jewellers shop still open despite the fact that it was lunchtime and there were no passing shoppers in that neighbourhood. They pushed open the grimy door, stepping into the dim interior of the shop. It was deserted.

‘Shop!’ Starsky shouted, eliciting and immediate response. George Papaspiliotopoulos or Papas to those who knew him was a small rotund and slightly greasy second generation Greek who still preferred people to think he’d just arrived on the last boat from Corfu. He swept into the little shop from the back room, a smile on his face which quickly faded as he saw who his two prospective customers were,

‘Mr Starsky, Mr Hutchinson. What can I do for two fine upstanding officers of the law?’

‘Well Papas. We need some information from you’ Starsky smiled.

‘If it’s about the Rolex, I can explain. I didn’t know it was a copy until….’ He saw the look of horror on the brunet’s face and realised he’d jumped in with both feet.

‘You mean this watch I paid 200 bucks for aint Kosher?’ Starsky thundered, then his face softened. ‘I may be suckered once in a while, but even I knew I couldn’t get a genuine Rolex for $200, even from you’.

‘Now wait a minute Mr Starsky, I can explain’ Papas blustered before Hutch put up a conciliatory hand.

‘Let’s leave my friend’s unfortunate choice of time piece for now Papas. We want you to have a look at another little gem we have’.

Starsky handed him the emerald ring and Papas whistled softly as he took it and held it up to the light.

‘Is it genuine or is it a fake? And can ya tell us how much it’s worth? the brunet asked.

Papas reached under the desk and took out a jeweller’s loupe, screwing it into his eye before bending over the ring in concentration. He flicked on a small table lamp and directed the beam at the ring. For a full minute he examined the gem, rolling the ring round and round in his thick stubby fingers with the finesse of a surgeon. He made some quick notes on the back of an old envelope and looked again at the central stone. Finally he looked up.

‘I don’t know where you got this and if you think I had anything to do with it, think again. I may have occasional dodgy dealings, but this is way out of my league’. He looked impressed.

‘So is it genuine?’ Hutch urged.

‘Oh yeah. One hundred percent genuine. What you have here gentlemen is a 10 carat emerald cut central emerald of the highest quality, surrounded by forty white diamonds, all no less than an eighth of a carat each. Emeralds are graded by their colour and clarity. The nature of the stone is that they will invariably have inclusions in them. It can’t be helped. But the less inclusions – the bits that stop it shining deep in the stone – the higher quality the stone is. This one, I would estimate is first grade, as are the diamonds. And they are set into 18 carat rose gold’.

‘So it’s a good piece?’ Starsky asked

Papas looked up in disgust. ‘Isn’t that what I just said?’

Letting the comment go, the brunet pushed Papas. ‘And the value?’

The Greek blew out his lips. ‘I would estimate anywhere between 3 and 5’.

‘Thousand dollars?’ Hutch asked.

‘Hundred thousand dollars’ Papas corrected him.

Starsky whistled. ‘Three hundred thousand bucks? Jeez. Where’s he got that from?’ he asked softly.

‘Oh I can tell you that too’ Papas said calmly, with the air of a magician pulling a rabbit form a hat. ‘It was stolen a few days ago from the De Beer’s Jewellers in the centre of town. Don’t you cops know anything?’ he asked with a grin.

The two detectives looked at each other. Regan’s gem was hot? There was a moment’s pause before Starsky shook himself mentally. ‘Thanks George. And I’ll be back about the watch’ Starsky said as he and Hutch made their way back outside in a daze.

They got back into the car with a chorus of groans. Both men were tired and sore and needed their pain meds, but now the whole thing was beginning to make more sense to Starsky and he was lost in the heat of the hunt.

‘When Pete and I talked back at the office he said we’d fucked up his life and he mentioned not only what happened at school, and then Helen, but something else. it didn’t make sense at the time, but do you think, in the far stretches of imagination that Regan could be caught up in the same stuff Solenko and Twoey are?’

‘What, a cop buying from fences? Well it isn’t unheard of’ Hutch conceded.

‘Well I’m not just talking about buying from them. I got a horrible feeling that our friend is up to his neck in the jewel scams that Solenko has been committing’ Starsky said quietly.

‘You mean he commissioned them to go out and rob the jewellery stores?’

‘It makes sense. The lifestyle he’s got goin’. The maid, the jewels, the house in Hawaii. He can’t afford that on his salary. There’s gotta be sumthin behind it all. It wasn’t till he’d said I’d fucked up his life that it started to make sense’.

‘Don’t ya think you’re extending the boundaries of belief just a little too far there Gordo’ Hutch asked.

‘Well if I am, no-one knows but the two of us. And if I’m not, we got ourselves a dirty cop to bust’.

‘And how’re ya figuring on proving what he is or isn’t doin’?’

Starsky snorted. ‘We’ve got the prime movers locked up back at Metro. What say we go and have a little heart to heart with Solenko?’

An hour later saw Hutch sitting on one of the small hard wooden chairs by the side of the interview desk in a small white room in the basement of the metro. While Hutch sat quietly contemplating his nails, Starsky prowled the perimeter of the room like a caged cougar, all teeth and nails and pent up anger. He jumped slightly as the uniformed officer brought Solenko into the room and sat him down on the only other available chair.

As the other man departed, Solenko looked at the two detectives distrustfully, but remained silent.

‘How’s it goin’ Solenko?’ Starsky asked, conversationally.


‘Yeah? Room up to scratch? Maid service to your likin’?’

Solenko stared balefully at the curly haired cop, but kept his mouth shut.

Starsky walked over to the table and bent over it, his palms flat on the surface as he smiled into Solenko’s eyes.

‘I don’t think you’ve been telling us everything’ he said, seeing the very brief flare of fear in the robber’s eyes.

‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’.

‘No? Well for starters, where did ya fence the jewels? What made ya choose certain types? Why did ya target only certain shops?’

Solenko licked his lips nervously. ‘I don’t know what you mean’.

Hutch offered Solenko a cigarette, which the shaking man took gratefully. ‘What my partner would like to know is who was behind it all?’

‘Behind it? Me. I was operating with Twoey’ Solenko said, his eyes hidden behind a veil of blue acrid smoke from the lighted cigarette.

Starsky grinned at him. ‘Solenko you couldn’t mastermind a game of snap. We want to know who gave the orders. Who bought the stuff’.

‘No-one bought it, honest’.

‘OK, Einstein. We caught you at the jewel store. But you have no other jewels either on you or in your home. So where’s the other haul of stuff if ya didn’t sell ‘em?’

‘We didn’t sell ‘em and that’s the Gods honest truth’ Solenko said firmly and with such conviction that even Hutch believed the man. The blond took over.

‘So, if you didn’t sell the jewels. Where are they now?’

Again the robber’s eyes slipped sideways, back in evasion mode and he wriggled uncomfortably in his seat.

‘I want to see my attorney’ he said. ‘I aint answering no more questions till I’ve seen my attorney’.

Hutch looked up and shrugged. Both men knew they’d gone as far as they could do without getting the answer they needed, although both knew now that Solenko was hiding something more and seemed terrified.

They knocked on the interview room door and a moment later the same uniformed officer returned to escort Solenko back to his cell. Starsky stood with his back leaning against the wall, arms crossed and one ankle crossed over the other.

‘So, where’s that leave us?’

Hutch rubbed his finger over his bottom lip. ‘Solenko is hiding something. He knows where the jewels are, or at least who got them. As for connecting it to Regan, I don’t think we’re much further forward’. He looked at his watch and sighed. ‘Its 6:30. What say we clock off, get a pizza and a beer at Huggy’s then see what tomorrow brings?’

Starsky nodded, feeling every one of his pains anew. He was tired and although he’d never expected Solenko to be an easy nut to crack, he had thought he may be able to nail Regan once and for all. Dave Starsky was not a patient man, but he listened to his body. For tonight, enough was enough.

‘Sure, pizza and beer sounds great. You payin’?’

Hutch grinned at him. ‘And when did I ever agree to that?’

‘I dunno. When pigs fly I guess’.


Pete Regan walked back into the Metro at 7:00 that evening looking pleased with himself. With his wife away he had only Juanita for company, and oh boy, what company she was. Juanita had obviously not employed the sleeping pills trick. After the initial foreplay they’d moved themselves out to the pool, frolicked in the hot tub some then finally made it back to the bedroom for an encore. Now he felt relaxed and mellow. The world was absolutely fine for Captain Regan.

Walking back into the HQ, he nodded a curt greeting to one or two of the officers before starting his tour of the place. He’d not got where he was by being sloppy and careless and one thing he’d learned early on in his career was that if he wasn’t going to do things strictly by the book, then he needed to be careful and watch his back at every turn.

So now he made his way up to his office and started to telephone for a full rundown of the afternoon’s movements, wanting to know where each detective in his squad had been, what they’d been doing and for how long. He saved the best for last and looked at the time logs for Starsky and Hutch last of all.

Scanning the page, his eyes stopped at the log of the second interview with Solenko. Why had they wanted to talk to him again? Just to be thorough, Regan rang down to the interview suite and asked for the tapes to be sent up to him. After that, he spent a pleasant half hour watching the two detectives questioning the big man, and at the end of it, his face had changed from happy and relaxed to thunder. They were on to him; he knew that for certain now. Although Solenko hadn’t told them anything of importance, it was just a question of time. And he needed to so something about it right now.

Grinning wolfishly, he set off down to the cells, asking for Solenko and to be left alone with him. With only a limited time to make sure he’d done his work, and knowledge that the cameras were on him, he poured a cup of water for the robber, surreptitiously poured in a small vial of white powder and walked into the cell, emerging two minutes later as Solenko drained the last of the fluid.

During the night, the big man suffered chest pains, convulsions and by morning, was found dead in his cell, apparently of a heart attack.

Chapter 16

The two detectives arrived early at the Metro next morning and made their way to the squad room hoping to be there before Regan made his appearance, but their hopes were dashed as they walked into the room and they were greeted by the big cop’s body, filling the doorway from his office.

‘Oh good, finally you decide to grace us with your presence’ Regan’s snide voice sounded over the general low hum of conversation in the room as he looked pointedly at his watch.

The team looked up as the brunet and his partner paused by their desks. There were a few ribald comments about tardiness which Starsky acknowledged by a raised hand and a grin. Regan’s face remained impassive. Hutch looked around, seeing the usual 8 men on the early shift all in the room and listening as Regan continued.

‘I may only have been here a couple of days but already I’ve found just how sloppy Dobey’s outfit has been’.

Hutch put a restraining hand on his partner’s arm as Starsky started to defend his Captain’s reputation. Regan saw the move, but carried on anyway.

‘Two days ago I gave clear orders that Officer Hutchinson and Officer Starsky should watch, and only watch Snowy White. But our dynamic duo decided they knew better and went on to chase and arrest said Snowy White, against express orders’.

There was a general hum of conversation around the room and a couple of calls of ‘How’s the family jewels Hutch?’ from those who had heard that the blond had been shot, but then the sounds died down as Regan held up his hand.

‘Yeah, Hutchinson got shot, and that wouldn’t have happened if he’d simply followed orders. So, in order to make sure we have no further avoidable accidents, there’s going to be a reshuffle in the office. Starting now. Hutchinson, Starsky, I’ll be splitting you two up. Maybe with different partners you won’t take quite so many risks’.

‘Oh now wait a minute Cap’n’ Hutch started, his hand lifted in defence. ‘We went after White coz….’

‘Tell it to the hand Hutchinson, coz this face don’t look like one that’s listening, does it?’ Regan rounded on the blond. ‘You couldn’t follow orders and I think your partner there is leading you astray. You could be a reasonably good cop if you were partnered with the right guy, so I’m putting you with Gonzalez. He should be able to keep you in check’.

Hutch’s face told its own story as he tried to bite back the comments he wanted to say to Regan. He felt like a rookie being told off by his Captain on his second day on the job and what’s more, being told off in front of the whole squad too. But Regan had turned his back on the blond dismissively and was concentrating on the simmering figure standing by the squad room door, visibly shuddering in indignation.

‘You have no right’ Starsky ground out loudly as the room hushed around him. None of the guys particularly liked Regan. They disliked the fact he’d come in, badmouthing their Captain and trying to change things when he was only temporary. And they disliked the big man’s know all attitude which put most men’s back up immediately. But they particularly disliked the fact that he was splitting up long established, tried and tested and effective teams. Gonzalez smiled apologetically at Hutch, who nodded back.

Regan was staring at Starsky with a look which would have dropped an elephant at 50 paces. ‘I don’t think I need to remind you that I’m a Police Captain and have every right to change things that don’t work. And right at this juncture, your partnership doesn’t work’. He said stonily.

‘Who says it don’t work?’ Starsky asked through white lips.

‘I say. And it’s my opinion that counts here. So unless you want to hand me your badge and weapon and walk away, I suggest you shut the fuck up and do as you’re told. Any further comments?’

The brunet looked as though he had a whole bunch of comments that he’d really like to air at that particular point, but looking sideways, he caught Hutch’s crystal blue eyes. They spoke to him without any need for words.

Just ride with this Gordo. Only a few more days and then he’s outa here. Don’t do anything we’ll both regret. Play this right and we can nail the sucker.

Starsky’s indigo eyes replied with an Ok, I’ll suck it up this time, but at the end, when we have all the evidence, his ass is mine.

The brunet took a deep breath. ‘I’m not gonna rise to your bait Captain’ he said the word with as much contempt as he could muster. ‘Whatever ya want. Who’m I gonna have the pleasure of?’ he asked

Regan grinned as he dealt his ace card. ‘Well I’m a firm believer in getting back down to the shop floor once in a while. You know. Making sure I keep my skills up to date. So for the next few days, I’m gonna be your partner Davey boy. And you never know, you might learn a bit of something from me’.

Starsky stared in horror at the guy. Never in his wildest dreams had he thought he’d be cruising the streets with Regan by his side. He was about to raise the first of many objections, but then thought better of it and clamped his mouth shut. Regan looked as though he’d been expecting an argument and seemed disappointed that none was forthcoming. The big man looked around the room.

‘Well has Bay City declared an amnesty on criminals today? What’re ya waiting for? Get out there and do your thing’ he thundered at the assembled men. The crowd started to break up and Hutch was just about to whisper something in the brunet’s ear when Regan walked over, putting himself physically between Hutch and his friend.

‘Didn’t I make myself clear Hutchinson? You’re partnered with Gonzalez, who’s standing right over there. Now, do I have to break it down into words of one syllable? Get out on the street and do an honest days work huh?’

Hutch stared at the man for a moment, his eyes never blinking as his jaw muscles worked with the difficulty of biting back the words. Finally, and with a look of utter contempt for the big man, he looked around Regan at Starsky.

‘Watch your back buddy’ he said lightly, though the words were loaded with other meanings.

Starsky winked at his partner. ‘Catch ya tonight huh?’

Hutch walked out of the room with the big Mexican, Gonzalez and Regan turned back to Starsky with a broad grin on his face. ‘Are we ready to roll?’

‘Oh yeah. Whose car, mine or yours?’ the brunet asked, trying to be civil.

‘Well I don’t want my nice tidy Caddy being shot up none, so I think we’ll go with yours’ Regan said, heading for the door.

‘Yeah, you got a real nice car there Pete. Tell me, where’s your secret hoard of money?’ Starsky asked as lightly as he could. He knew it was wrong. He knew it was asking for trouble. But the show down in the squad room just now had done nothing to improve his temper and for a moment he enjoyed the look of discomfort in the big man’s eyes.

Regan ignored the question and set off down the steps and out towards the parking lot. He stood by the Torino as the brunet unlocked it and as Starsky got in one side, Regan wedged himself into the other.

‘Ok, partner. Where’re we goin’?’ the curly haired cop asked as pleasantly as he could.

‘Just start driving’ Regan muttered darkly as the big red car pulled out into traffic. Starsky took the mic. and called Zebra 3 in as rolling, then replaced it on the cradle. The minute he did, Regan took the handset and ripped it from the mount, disconnecting the wires in one movement. Starsky was about to yell at him when he saw another movement and a mere second later was staring down the barrel of Regan’s Colt Python.

‘Drive’ Regan ordered as he pushed the muzzle into the brunet’s side. Carefully he leaned over and unhooked the strap of Starsky’s holster, removing the Smith and Wesson and flinging it onto the back seat.

‘What the hell do you think you’re doin’?’ Starsky said as levelly as he could.

‘I’m dealing with a crazy cop who can’t follow orders and doesn’t keep his nose out of other people’s business’ Regan said calmly.

‘And you’re doing it by shooting me?’ the brunet asked.

‘Oh good God no. I wouldn’t do that. ‘That’s far too simple for forensics to trace. No, Davey boy. We’re gonna go revisit a crime scene, then we’re gonna take a little stroll down memory lane’.

‘Why do I get the feeling that it won’t be as cosy as it sounds’ Starsky asked, trying to lean away from the sharp metal burrowing into his side.

‘Coz you know me so well’ Regan chuckled. ‘No sudden moves now, ok? We’re gonna take a little spin down town’.

‘You’ll never get away with this Regan. The boys’ll be on to ya. They’ll take ya down, whatever ya do at me’.

The big man grinned. ‘I have my own ways of dealing with those who get in my way. Or those who get sloppy and look like they’re gonna drop me in it. Like Rudy Solenko’.

The brunet’s head whipped sideways. ‘What about Solenko?’

‘Didn’t you check the reports this morning? Poor Rudy. He was found dead in his cell in the early hours of the morning. Right after you and your blond partner interviewed him again yesterday’ Regan had a self satisfied look on his face.

‘You bastard. He never told us nuthin. But his death has just confirmed what Hutch and me were investigatin’. What did ya do Pete? Did ya target the jewellers personally? Case the joints first just to see if there was something there you liked, or that Sandy wanted? Is that how you finance your lifestyle? Sell the stuff on to the highest bidder? What cut did Solenko get huh?’

Regan sat sideways in his seat, the gun never wavering from the brunet’s side. ‘So, you are reasonable at police work after all?’ he said slowly. ‘Shame ya won’t have time to make a decent career from it. And it only took ya a couple of days to figure it out. Good work!’

‘I’d take a bow if there wasn’t a gun stuck in my ribs’ Starsky grunted. ‘Ya know someone, somewhere is gonna figure it out anyways Pete. You’ll only get away with it for so long before the IA get ya’.

‘Oh but didn’t Berkovitz tell you, when you had your cosy little chat? Yeah, I know about that too. The IA are easier to buy than most of the hustlers in this city. And when these guys go, the next lot’ll get the same treatment. Its so easy!’ Regan crowed.

Starsky’s knuckles were white as he gripped the wheel, temper and fear arguing for which had more control of the brunet’s body. ‘Enough of how clever you are. Just tell me where we’re headin’ he ground out, his eyes constantly scanning the road for any means he could use to escape.

The light ahead of him turned red, and Starsky saw his chance, Instead of slowing down, he jammed his foot on the gas and hurtled through the junction sending cars cascading sideways in a screech of tires. Regan was thrown against the door of the car, but quickly righted himself and he shoved the muzzle of his gun deeper into Starsky’s side.

‘That was foolish’ the big man muttered. ‘And you know what happens to foolish cops’.

‘Enlighten me’ the brunet grunted, his teeth clenched against the pain in his side.

Regan grinned wolfishly. ‘They die. But before they die, they get hurt’. And he leaned over and pressed his fingers once more into the bruise on Starsky’s back.

The brunet hissed in pain but made no other noise, his hands gripping the wheel in a deathly embrace. He looked sideways at his tormentor.

‘So, are ya gonna tell me where we’re goin’. Or are ya just gonna annoy me to death?’ he asked cockily.

‘We’re going back to where this all began, Davey boy. Like I said, a trip down memory lane. Ya know that phrase “When pigs fly”? Well, we’re gonna see if they can. Lets head on back to the KLOW tower’.

‘Why?’ Starsky asked, his heart beginning to hammer in his chest.

‘We’re gonna investigate a 187’ Regan explained.

‘Dead body? Whose?’

Regan snorted, a look of sympathy in his eyes. He explained carefully, as though to a particularly difficult child. ‘Yours, of course’.

Chapter 17

Hutch walked quietly out of the Metro behind Gonzalez. He liked the big Mexican. Miguel was a big bear of a man whose gun looked like a toy in his ham like fist. He was almost as big as Pete Regan and would have given the police captain a run for his money in the gym if Regan had not preferred to pick on the smaller men. Now as he followed the big broad back to the car Gonzalez tossed over his shoulder

‘What did you two do to the new Captain to piss him off so royally?’

‘He and Starsky go back a ways. In fact they went to the same school and they had erm…a disagreement. But it goes further than that. Starsk thought Regan was into something else and Regan didn’t like that my partner was doing some snooping behind his back’.

‘Did Starsky find anything?’

By now both men had made it to Hutch’s LTD. As they got in, Hutch looked around from an abundance of caution, deciding whether to bring Gonzalez up to date with the information he and the brunet had got together. Seeing the garage was clear of anyone, Hutch made his decision.

‘He spoke to Regan’s lieutenant, Radek Berkovitz. He told Starsk that Regan was living beyond his means so we went out to his mansion house and got caught by his maid’.

‘Mansion? Maid? What sort of wage is Regan drawing?’ Miguel asked wonderingly.

‘That’s what we wondered. So when we found some gem stones in Regan’s bedroom, we took one of them down to Papas’ shop. He told us it was the real McCoy and he also told us it had been stolen from De Beers shop a few days ago. The same shop that Solenko and Twoey knocked off’.

Gonzalez’s head came up quickly. ‘Solenko? Hey, you know he was found dead in his cell this morning don’t you?’

Hutch’s face paled. ‘No. Didn’t have time to check anything before Regan sprung his little surprise on us this morning. What did he die of?’

‘Records said he had chest pains and it looked like a heart attack’.

‘But you don’t believe it?’ Hutch asked, worry starting to gnaw at him now.

‘Hey, I’m no medic. But the guy was hale and hearty when he came in. He had no excitement while he was in the cell coz the place was quiet last night. Why should he suddenly take sick and die?’

‘And why should Regan pick this particular moment to split me and Starsky up?’ Hutch muttered, his finger rubbing over his bottom lip. ‘I got a bad feeling about this Miguel. I’m gonna go back inside and check in with Starsk’.

Gonzalez got out of the car and followed Hutch as he rushed back into the big building. The blond raced down the corridor and took a quick left, pushing open the door to the communications room. He spotted Minnie Caplan in the corner, headset round her curly black hair as she calmly spoke to various teams out on patrol. He tapped her on her shoulder and jumped and looked up self consciously. She smiled when she saw it was the big blond who had interrupted her.

‘Hey Hutch. What can I do for my favourite man?’

‘Patch me through to Zebra 3 honey’ he smiled at her.

‘Sure thing. Hang on’. Minnie’s hands flew over the plugs and switches on her board and she spoke into her microphone. ‘Zebra 3, zebra 3, come in please?’

There was no answer and she tried again, a crease of concentration furrowing her brow. Finally, with no response, she looked up, troubled. ‘I don’t understand it. I can’t get through to Zebra 3. Its like there a malfunction on Starsky’s set. It’s almost as though it isn’t there’ she said ‘I just got static’.

Gonzalez and Hutch exchanged glances. ‘Thanks honey’ the blond said as he and his new partner ran from the room and out into the corridor again.

‘I need to find where Regan and Starsky are’ Hutch muttered, aiming back up to the squad room. He pushed open the door and made straight for Dobey/Regan’s office. He pushed the door to the inner office open and looked at the familiar desk. Although Dobey was never the most tidy of men, Regan made him look like a neat freak. The usually tidy polished surface of the big wooden desk was covered in a snow shower of papers with files lying open one on top of the other across it’s surface.

Quickly, Hutch and Gonzalez started to look through the vast array of papers, searching for any clue as to where Regan and the brunet might have gone. Gonzalez shuffled through some of the files, picking out one for Solenko and one for Twoey, along with others for Rippo, Sam and Harvey who had been arrested with Solenko and his friend.

‘He sure got his claws into Solenko’ Gonzalez observed dryly, waving the fat sheaf of papers at the blond. But Hutch didn’t look up, he was absorbed in studying the other file of Regan’s desk. What did their new captain want with Commander Jim Wrightwood’s file? He studied it more closely and saw his and Starsky’s statements on the top of the file, along with the description of how Jim fell from the KWOL mast.

And suddenly Hutch remembered how Regan had punished Starsky as a young boy by taking him up onto the roof of the school. If he knew Starsky was onto him, would he do the same sort of thing again? Panic grabbed at the blond’s chest and he flung the file back down on the table. His mind went back a couple of days to the look of sheer terror on Starsky’s face when he froze on the mast and his heart skipped a beat.

‘I think I know where they’ve gone’ he said. ‘And I only hope we can get there in time’.


Starsky drew to a halt outside the radio station building, the sweat starting to form now on the palms of his hands. No-one would ever say Dave Starsky was a coward, but the memories of the school roof and the way Commander Jim’s body had bounced sickeningly on the roof of KWOL were too strong. He tried to think of some other way out of this.

‘You’ll never get away with this’ he said again, in a futile attempt to bargain with Regan.

‘Won’t I?’ the big man said smoothly.

‘They’ll trace my death back to you. Your gun, your bullet’.

‘I hope they do trace this back to me. You’re my alibi Davey boy. Here was I, your Captain, out here watching your back when you make one of your hot headed decisions to go back to check for anything you missed back at KWOL. I pleaded with ya not to go up onto the roof, but you wouldn’t listen. That pig headed temper of yours! So I followed you up there and saw you looking over the edge of the roof. I called to you to be careful, but you seemed like you had something to prove and you leaned further out. I reached out for ya and you grabbed my hand. My gun went of and the bullet made you spin around. I was devastated! It was such a shame that I couldn’t get to you in time to save you from falling the three storeys down to you death. And I was gutted at the sight of your broken body lying dead on the sidewalk. Ya never know, I might even get a commendation out of it’ Regan grinned. He pushed the muzzle of his revolver into Starsky’s side. ‘Get out of the car. No sudden moves. We’re taking a little walk’.

Starsky reluctantly eased himself out of the car and stood by the side of his big red baby, determined not to make this easy for Regan. The big man flicked his gun at the alleyway down by the side of the big brick building, indicating a metal fire escape snaking it’s way upwards to the roof.

‘After you’ he said.

‘Ever the gentleman huh?’ Starsky said wryly as he started to walk down the alley. Without his gun he felt almost naked and his throat was dry as he looked up towards the roof line. It seemed a helluva long way up and, he was sure, would like a mighty long way back down once he got up there. As he reached the base of the metal structure he paused one last time.

‘Regan we don’t have to do this. It’s not too late, we can work something out’ he said, tension making his voice falter slightly.

But Regan only smiled at him and pointed upwards. ‘Start climbing Davey. Save your breath, it’s a long way up. Wouldn’t want ya to run out of breath before ya get to the top. Bet the view’s great from there. But you’ll find that out soon enough’.

The brunet put his hand on the metal rungs and started to climb slowly and steadily. He wondered if Regan would get close enough so that he could kick out at his and maybe make him lose his grip. But the police Captain was smarter than that. He allowed at least four rungs between his hands and Starsky’s feet so that there was no way he could be taken by surprise. With his gun clasped in his right hand, pointing skywards, the curly haired cop realised he had nowhere else to go but up.

The higher he climbed the more the breath whistled nervously in his throat. Chasing Commander Jim up there had been one thing. At the time, Starsky’s concentration had all been on catching the suffering man before he could harm the pretty blond girl or himself. Thoughts of heights and safety didn’t enter into it until Commander Jim had plunged to his death. Only then did the old phobia kick in, and that’s when he’d frozen. But now, with no madman to run after and with only thoughts of his impending demise, the climb got harder and harder the higher he got.

At one point, the brunet thought his legs would give out. They felt rubbery and weak and he stopped for a moment, body hugging the cold metal rungs as he carefully rubbed one hand and then the other down the leg of his jeans. And then he made the fatal mistake of looking down. The ground seemed an awfully long way away and seemed to swim before his eyes. He felt his body start to pull away from the fire escape and pulled himself closer to the metal, squeezing his eyes tight shut to block out the view. Below him, Regan stopped too, enjoying the sight of the usually brave cop now being reduced to a quivering wreck.

But if there was one thing that would be guaranteed to make the curly haired cop move from the relative safety of the fire escape, it was a gun being wrapped across his ankle bone. Regan chuckled evilly as Starsky yelped and the muscles throughout his body tautened.

‘Move it Davey. Nearly there’ he yelled. ‘Wouldn’t want ya to have a nasty accident before you have your nasty accident, would we?’

Starsky took a deep breath and with a final surge of adrenaline, he climbed the last ten or so rungs of the ladder and eased himself over the parapet of the roof, finding himself once more on the flat surface. As he stood on his shuddery legs and turned, he saw Regan pull his massive bulk over the edge and jump down neatly, gun still pointing at him and a wide grin on his face.

‘Well this is cosy aint it?’ Regan said conversationally. ‘And now we’re gonna start the flying lessons all over again’.

Chapter 18

‘What makes you think he’ll be there?’ Gonzalez asked as they ran for the LTD.

‘He had Commander Jim’s file open on his desk. It had mine and Starsky’s statements on the top and his MO is that he likes to exploit weaknesses. He knows we were on to him, I’m sure of it’ Hutch explained.

‘What d’you mean, he likes to exploit weaknesses?’

Hutch got into the car and switched on the engine. ‘The disagreement he and Starsky had in high school? Regan and some friends got my partner onto a roof, then dropped him over the edge. From what I can tell, they darn near killed him. He’s been scared of heights ever since and I think Regan knows that’.

‘Shit! You think he’s taken him back to the mast where you and Starsky found Wrightwood?’

‘Well if I’m wrong, I hate to think where he’s taken him’. Hutch gunned the engine and set off across town.


At the rooftop, Starsky was staring down the muzzle of the gun, it’s one dark eye staring back malevolently at him. Regan had him cornered and was toying with him like a cat with a mouse. Every time Starsky took a step, Regan would counter it, but was inexorably driving the brunet away from the relative safety of the centre of the flat roof towards the edge.

The rooftop was bordered by a waist high stone wall which was punctuated at various points by openings through which the various emergency ladders could be accessed and now, in the bright late morning sunshine, the light reflected off the white painted floor making Starsky narrow his indigo eyes against the glare. He was sweating now, not with the considerable heat of the LA summer morning, but the cold sweat of fear which made the blood thunder in his ears and his throat remain as dry as the Mojave. Again, Starsky raised his hands, taking a quick look round. His fear was slowly being accompanied by a simmering rage and now his pleadings had turned to temper.

‘If ya want to kill me Pete, just do it. Pull the fuckin’ trigger and have done with it huh? Ya want me dead, so why waste your time and mine. I’ll make it easy for ya. I’ll turn my back then ya don’t have to look into my eyes’ he spat out, turning slowly. He braced himself, his heart hammering in his chest, tensed for the bullet. It never came. He looked over his shoulder to see the same calm sickening smile on Regan’s face.

‘I don’t want to make it too simple Davey. Gotta make it look like an accident. You forget, I’m the great hero in this. The one that tried to save your scrawny ass from plunging over the top to it’s death’.

‘Oh yeah. How could I forget that snippet? The brunet grunted, taking another step backwards as the gun rose higher to point at his head.

‘Don’t worry, I’ll keep reminding you. Till the point where you’re balanced on that wall and then I don’t think you’ll need your memory joggin’ no more’ the huge man chuckled.


Hutch slammed the mars light on the roof and sounded the sirens as his battered brown car blasted it’s way through the downtown traffic. He hurtled up the main avenue and turned right at the next intersection, intent on taking a short cut through the back streets to get to KWOL all the quicker . He executed the turn and was about to push the pedal to the metal once more when he saw up ahead that the road was blocked. A panel truck had overturned and was blocking the whole road while a woman and a child in a pushchair rested on the edge of the sidewalk, the child crying while the woman held her head, blood seeping through her fingers.

They area was surrounded by spectators and as yet no emergency vehicles had made it to the scene. Hutch slammed on the brakes cursing under his breath as Gonzalez leaned out of the window and yelled at one of the passers by.

‘Has anyone sent for the police and ambulance?’

The young man stared at him wordlessly, obviously in shock and Gonzalez tried again. ‘Yo dude! Has anyone called for an ambulance?’

At the side of him Hutch’s fingers were drumming on the steering wheel. ‘We’re wasting time’ he muttered darkly.

An elderly woman crossed over to the car and leaned in through the window. ‘I called for them both officer. Are you here to take statements?’

The big Mexican shook his head. ‘No Ma’am. So long as you’ve called for them, the black and whites should be here soon’. He turned to Hutch. ‘I think you can back up and take the next exit left. That should bring us back on to Washington, then you can hang a right back onto Ocean from there’.

Hutch gunned the engine, slamming the big car into reverse. Amidst a squealing of tyres that his brunet partner would have been proud of, he set off in the other direction, following Gonzalez’s directions to get around the blockage. He took his half hunter watch out of his pocket and looked at it.

‘That’s another 10 minutes we’ve wasted’ he mumbled and pushed his foot flat to the floor.


Starsky was almost up against the waist high wall now, his fingers feeling the rough surface behind him. He knew he was out of options. He’d tried to reason with Pete. He’d tried to goad him into a fight. But the big man seemed intent on making sure Starsky took a step off the building and the power struggle was almost over.

The brunet felt the wall at his back, the edge of it level with the tops of his thighs and he also felt the sickening nothingness as the top half of his body started to bend backwards over the abyss. Taking a quick look backwards, he saw the ground a long way away and for a frightening minute he was back suspended over the wall of the school, kicking out at the boys holding him. He felt them let go of his legs and then the stomach churning freefall before the ground rushed up to meet him. He looked back at Regan who now stood less than a foot away from him.

‘Sit down on the wall Davey. Make yourself comfortable’ he commended, pushing the gun into Starsky’s stomach.

In a split second, the brunet saw his chance and reached down with both hands to take hold of the gun. Regan saw the movement and tried to snatch his hands back, but Starsky was quicker. Both men now had hands on the weapon, but whereas Regan had bulk and gravity on his side, Starsky was still bent precariously over the edge of the parapet. With his hands on the weapon and Regan pushing him inexorably backwards, he could feel his sneakered feet slipping on the smooth surface of the roof. Regan’s face was inches away from the brunet’s now, so close that Starsky could feel the man’s breath on his neck.

The struggle continued, but was unequal. Regan had the advantage of height and weight and despite Starsky having grabbed his weapon, he was still pushing the smaller man over the edge of the roof.

‘Clever. Very clever’ he ground out against the brunet’s ear. But not clever enough. How’s it look from here Davey boy? Seem familiar does it?’

Starsky had no breath for a reply, every sinew of his being was intent on keeping his footing and fighting back against the enormous pressure driving him over the edge. He seemed to be holding his own, if not exactly winning against Regan when his left, injured ankle gave out and he lurched backwards until his body from the waist up was left balanced over thin air.


Hutch screeched to a halt beside the red Torino which appeared to have been abandoned outside the big brick building. The two detectives got out and Hutch looked upwards, seeing a body hanging over the edge of the roof.

‘Oh shit. Starsk’ he yelled to Gonzalez and started to look for a way up. Both men saw the fire escape ladder and started to climb, their legs seemingly unable to work fast enough to get them up the three storeys to get to the roof. Hutch got to the top first and stopped just shy of the last rung, carefully peering over the parapet. What he saw made his blood run cold and he put out a hand to Gonzalez, telling the Mexican to hold on a moment.

‘He’s got Starsky against the wall’ he hissed. ‘If we go in too quick, Regan’s gonna give loose and Starsky’s gonna fall’.

‘So what’s your plan?’ Gonzalez asked from just below the blond.

‘Did I say I had a plan?’ Hutch said bitterly. ‘Its catch 22. We go in guns blazing and Regan pushes my partner over the edge. We surprise him and he lets go, and Starsk is still jam on the sidewalk’.

‘Well we gotta do something’

‘I know, I know. Ok. Here’s the plan’ Hutch said and outlined his idea to the big Mexican.

Starsky was loosing his fight with gravity. He could feel his body inching further over the edge and in a desperate attempt to stop himself from plunging to certain death, he let go of the gun and grabbed instead for Regan’s jacket.

‘I go, you go’ he hissed.

But Regan had other ideas, Dropping the gun to the ground now that he was certain Starsky wouldn’t be going after it again, he started to prize the brunet’s clawed fingers from the fabric of his jacket, all the time smiling down into Starsky’s fear laden eyes.

‘Don’t fight it Davey boy. Might as well just let it happen. You’re only prolonging the agony’.

‘I’m not gonna go easy’ the brunet ground out, fighting to hang on to his human lifeline, his fingers reattaching themselves as soon as Regan broke their hold free from his clothes.

Behind the two men doing their dance of death on the parapet, two black ghosts appeared on the roof of the building, landing lightly on the floor then running sure footedly for cover. Hutch and Gonzalez split up, hutch ducking right and Miguel left. At a nod from the blond they sprinted towards Regan and the terrified cop, as quiet as mice on the hard flat roof.

At a given signal, they made a final run towards the big police captain and as Gonzalez launched himself at Regan, Hutch tried to get to Starsky.

When Regan felt the hand on his collar and the blow as the Mexican’s body cannoned into him, he let go of Starsky’s body in surprise. Grappling with Gonzalez was nothing like throwing the relatively light weight brunet around. Gonzalez was almost as tall as Regan and weighed just as much. And more to the point, Gonzalez enjoyed working in the gym just as much as Regan did. They squared off to each other, Regan’s surprise at the attack being short lived. He got in the first punch but Gonzalez matched him blow for blow, the sounds of their fight echoing over the roof top.

Not that Hutch heard any of it. He was engrossed in a fight of his own. As Regan had let go of Starsky’s body, the brunet’s sudden change in circumstances left him overbalanced, and as Hutch watched, his partner disappeared over the parapet, head first.

Chapter 19

As Gonzalez slammed Regan into the floor, Hutch heard a terrified yelp from his partner and saw the brunet topple backwards over the edge of the parapet. With a superhuman lunge, he darted forward and reached out his hand, grabbing wildly at Starsky’s falling body. His hands touched denim material then, in desperation, his fingers clenched around the brunet’s ankle.

The force of the movement had Hutch too bent double over the wall, his right hand holding on to Starsky’s left, injured ankle as the curly haired cop pendulumed back and forth, upside down over the side of the building. Starsky closed his eyes in terror as the ground, so far beneath him seemed to rock from side to side, his body stiff with fright and his right leg waving wildly in the air. The pain in his already sprained left ankle was almost overwhelming, but the same pain anchored him to the present, letting him know that his blond partner had him. And if Hutch had got to him, then he would be ok, wouldn’t he?

Above him, Hutch clutched at Starsky’s leg, but his grip was not the best. He’d made his heroic dive and caught hold of the bandaged ankle, but his grip was tenuous at best and his hand was rapidly losing its grip. He bent double over the rough brick work, himself in danger of being pulled over the edge by his partner’s weight and looked at the terrifying sight.

Starsky was upside down, his jacket and shirt ridden up so that they partially obscured his view of his surroundings showing his taut torso and rapidly breathing chest. Hutch saw that the brunet’s face was red, but that there was a white line of fear around his lips and his eyes were closed in terror. He watched as the Torino’s keys’ fell from the brunet’s pocket to land seconds later with a distant clatter on the ground and he felt his hand slip a little more on the fabric of Starsky’s sock. He knew that if he didn’t do something soon, his grip would break and his partner would fall to his death. This time, there would be no broken ankle and wrist. This time, if he plunged the three storeys down, he would die on impact.

Slowly, and with a care borne of desperation, Hutch threw down his gun behind him, hearing it clatter to the floor. He reached down with his left hand to try and snag Starsky’s other ankle, but the brunet’s leg was out of reach and Hutch couldn’t over reach his mark for fear of falling himself.

‘Starsky, keep still’ he yelled in what he hoped was a comforting manner. ‘Just bring your right leg up so that I can get hold of your ankle’.

But Starsky was wrapped in a cold world of fear, terrified to move in case he dislodged Hutch’s hold on him. His arms stretched out above his head, as if reaching for the ground and each time he opened his eyes a fraction, he felt a sick dread of his impending end. He was a creature cast of stone, unable to move for fear of what that movement might bring, his body frozen in immobility

Hutch tried again, desperate now to try to get a better hold on the brunet’s other leg. He could feel the towelling material of the sock beneath his hand beginning to slip, only the rough suede of Starsky’s blue sneaker keeping his hand from letting go completely. He tried to reach out with his left hand to get a firmer grip, but each time he started to reach, he felt the sock give a little more and stopped, not wanting to exacerbate the situation.

Starsky was moaning now, low and under his breath, a low keening sound which defied human meaning. It was the brunet’s last defence against the overwhelming fear, his voice being the only thing which was keeping him connected him to reality.

‘Starsk, listen to me. I need to get a better hold on you. You gotta help me buddy. I can’t hold on much longer. Move your right leg so that I can take a hold huh? Starsk! STARSKY! C’mon a little help here Gordo’ Hutch urged, knowing just how much his partner was hurting.

Starsky heard the voice, but the words didn’t make sense. He heard Hutch’s voice and it was soothing. His partner was here and he knew Hutch was trying to save him, but fear and the upside down position made it impossible for him to understand what Hutch wanted.

And then he felt it. The slight give in the strong grip around his ankle and his body dropped a centimetre further down towards the ground. He galvanised into action. He was back on the rooftop. He was 14. He was fighting for his life.

Starsky lost his grip on reality and started to kick out at the very hand that was trying to stop him plunging to his death, his body jerking violently at his efforts.

‘No, no, don’t do that. Starsk. Don’t fight it. I got ya buddy. I got ya. Don’t struggle. I can’t hold ya if you struggle’ Hutch shouted, feeling the ankle slipping from his grasp. He tried to tighten his grip, but the struggling continued and he tried again, louder.

‘Starsky stay still. For fucks sake don’t struggle. I can’t hold on much longer. Help me ….help me partner!’

Finally the sounds seemed to make words and Starsky’s struggling ceased, his legs no longer kicking out as he listened to the edge of panic in the blond’s voice. But the damage had been done and Hutch’s right hand was becoming numb, the muscles no longer working sufficiently to grip his partner, the weight becoming unbearable.

‘Try and climb up buddy’ he ground out, sweat forming on his blond forehead as he struggled manfully to keep his grip. ‘Starsk! Oh God help me, I can’t hold on’ Hutch almost sobbed as he tried again to get another grip with his left hand.

Starsky’s body became very still and limp at the words, knowing his final minutes on earth had finally arrived. He managed to look up, along the length of his body at Hutch, his face almost peaceful, as though he’d accepted his fate, willing his friend to accept that he’d done all he could, but that there were certain things that even Hutch couldn’t manage. He wanted desperately to have Hutch know that he accepted his fate and that he had an overwhelming feeling of friendship for the blond.

‘S’ok Hutch. I know ya can’t. S’ok….just……love ya’ and his body dropped slowly back, his last words said.

Hutch was speechless, but had no time to reflect. He could feel his grip was ready to give out and he let out a final desperate bellow. ‘NOOOOOOO’.

As he felt his grip loosen and the fabric of the bandages and sneaker slip finally from his grasp, a mountain leaned over the parapet besides him and a ham like, olive toned fist took a hold where he had lost his hand hold. A wave of nausea hit Hutch and his eyes closed for a brief second before opening again in astonishment.

Gonzalez had finally succeeded in flooring Regan with a blow to the Captain’s jaw that would have dropped an elephant. He’d stopped for a second for breath, only to hear Hutch’s frantic yell. With lightening speed, he assessed the situation and with his bigger bulk, stronger muscles and longer reach, he managed to grab hold of Starsky’s foot before the curly haired cop plunged to his death.

The renewed, vice like grip on his injured ankle caused the brunet to moan and look up along his body again, seeing Gonzalez’s face beaming down at him.

‘Where d’ya think you were going?’ he muttered as his left hand managed to grab onto Starsky’s right ankle. But he received no reply.

The shock, the pain and the adrenaline had taken their ultimate toll on the brunet and he’d passed out, his body hanging limply now as the big Mexican grunted with effort. Despite his superior strength, even the big man could not hold on to a dead weight for ever. Hutch took another hold on Starsky’s leg, further up on his shin and the two men started to pull, grunting with effort. For once they thanked the smaller man’s incredibly tight jeans that, even under such a strain, acted like a second skin and gave them a little more leverage to haul him back up the wall and to safety. But even though Starsky was lean and lithe, his body was a dead weight and it took the two men all their time and energy to pull him back up, so that eventually his boneless body slithered back over the low wall, the rough stone grazing his bare back, and the three fell to the floor, Hutch and Gonzalez sweating, breathless and shaking with emotion and exertion.

There was silence for a few moments, punctuated only by the tremulous breathing of the two detectives as they gathered their wits. It had been a close call and neither Gonzalez nor Hutch wanted to contemplate what would have happened if the big Mexican hadn’t taken a hand in the rescue. Hutch leaned his back against the wall and rested his head back, eyes closed as his chest heaved, sweat darkening his usually flaxen hair to a deep gold colour. Gonzalez took out a huge red bandanna and wiped it over his face and neck before pocketing it again.

‘Thanks’ Hutch panted. ‘I couldn’t hold on any longer’.

‘Glad to oblige’ Gonzalez said simply. ‘What the hell did he do that he was so desperate to finish Starsky off?’ he asked nodded at the unconscious form of Pete Regan lying crumpled in a heap n the floor.

‘Who cares? Whatever he did, he can add attempted murder to his list of other offences. I don’t thing he’s gonna see the light of day for a while’.

‘And what about our friend here?’ Miguel nodded at the still unconscious form between them.

Hutch knelt up and gently petted the pale face.

‘Starsk? C’mon buddy. Wake up. Lemme see those blue eyes huh?’

Beneath his hand, Starsky’s breathing deepened, but he remained insensate.

‘I’m gonna go call for backup, and maybe an ambulance?’ Gonzalez said, heaving himself up. He walked over to Regan’s body and bent down, rolling it over so that he could brings the man’s hands round to cuff behind him. ‘D’ya think you can manage him?’ he asked.

Hutch snorted. ‘Just gimme a chance to deck him’ he grunted as Gonzalez left to make the necessary calls. Hutch looked back at his partner, unbuttoning the shirt further so that Starsky could breath easier. He rubbed a thumb down the side of the handsome face and smiled.

‘Ya gonna wake up for me Gordo?’

He was rewarded with a low groan and he tried again.

‘Hey sleeping beauty! Open your eyes’.

‘Mmm…….Utch?’ the indigo eyes cracked open and Starsky looked around in complete surprise, never for once thinking he’d live to see Hutch once again. ‘What happened?’ he said softly.

‘Gonzalez caught ya. You ok Starsk?’

The brunet groaned and tried to sit up, though better of it and laid down again. ‘Dunno……happy to be here’.

‘Yeah? I’m happy to have you here. Just lay still, Miguel’s gone for the meat wagon’.

‘Don’t need one. M’fine’ the curly haired man protested.

‘Yeah? Ya don’t look it!’

A weak grin cracked the brunet’s face. ‘Well neither would you if you’d been hangin’ around all day’.

Chapter 20

Two weeks later saw both detectives back at work with things returned to normal. Dobey had returned to the Metro, his sabbatical at the Academy cut short once Regan’s crimes had been uncovered. Once the full investigation had gotten underway, it transpired that he had been using Solenko, Twoey, Rippo and the team for over a year, commissioning the robbing of banks, then secretly fencing the goods to the highest bidder while making other arrests of minor players and making it look as though he had the jewel robbers taped. The man could have gone on for months further had the brunet not started to investigate his long time adversary and Starsky and Hutch were in line for a commendation. Starsky had attended Helen’s funeral, putting a final end to that sad period of his life and he and Hutch had spent a quiet night celebrating her life privately.

Things were getting back to normal. Starsky’s fairly minor injuries had healed well, only the hint of a limp left from the sprained ankle, but it was not the physical injuries which were causing the problem. Three times in the intervening fortnight, he had called Hutch in the wee small hours of the morning, his voice shaking, his body shuddering from the after effects of another nightmare.

Hutch had discussed the problem with Dobey, unknown to his partner and the Captain had agreed that both men were due a leave of absence. He and the blond spoke at some length to the police psychologist who had suggested that Starsky schedule some sessions with her. But when Hutch had asked the curly haired man about the possibility, Starsky had coldly told him that he was no “head case” and that he’d work things out on his own. The next night, the brunet had once again been shaken awake by a nightmare of falling down an endless cliff, the dream accompanied by a sickening rolling of his stomach. But this time, he’s refused to ring Hutch, instead keeping himself awake for the rest of the night.

That was when Hutch knew he had to do something!

‘Starsk, you look like ya haven’t slept in a week. You have to go see Dr Sneider, partner!’

Starsky glowered at him. ‘I am not loopy. I’m not crazy. I just have nightmares. No doctor’s gonna do anything for that. I just need t’give it time. I got over ‘Nam an’ I’ll get over this’.

‘But if you talk to someone about it…’

‘I do. I talk to you’ the brunet said with a weary grin. ‘Are ya ready to roll? Call it in huh?’ He started the engine and drove off for another day at the sharp end.

That afternoon, Hutch went back to see Dobey and asked for a weeks vacation time for the two of them. The big black man, who’d seen the dark circles round his men’s eyes granted the request immediately and so early next morning, Hutch called around for his partner and they set off for the mountains.

‘Hutch I don’t wanna go camping’ the brunet whined. ‘It’s cold, it’s wet and there are bugs……and snakes. An’ I hate snakes!’

‘Will ya quit complaining? I have something special for us. You’ll love it!’ Hutch said in a calm voice.

‘Do they do five star, close carpeted, swimming pooled tents?’ Starsky asked hopefully.

‘You wish! No, its just two little tents, in the middle of the park. Just the two of us in the peace and quiet. No cars, no TV, no radio, no work’ Hutch smiled to himself.

‘No hot water, no chicks, no comfortable bed…..’

Hutch turned to his partner ‘And no radio masts’.

‘Ya had to mention it, didn’t ya?’

‘Well maybe this will make the dreams go away. You’ve gotta face your fear Gordo’.

‘I don’t wanna face my fear. I want to turn my back on it. There’s no need for me ever to climb a radio mast again. I’m gonna live in a single storey house and move to Holland’.


‘Uh huh. There’s no hills in Holland’ Starsky crowed triumphantly.

‘But it isn’t gonna help your vertigo’.

‘Fine, I’ll live with it. So what are we gonna do while we’re confined here for a week?’ the brunet asked as he looked around the camping ground.

‘We’re gonna enjoy the big outdoors, and climb that’ Hutch said, pointing to a medium sized rocky outcrop.

‘Oh no no no. No climbing for me, or for you either. Tents I’ll do. Cold water shaving I can cope with, but there is no way…..its cruel. You’re a sadist!’

Hutch got out of the car silently and started to unload the car. Starsky trotted round to the back and put his hand on Hutch’s arm. ‘I mean it Blondie. I don’t go up there, an’ neither do you’.

Hutch said nothing, but threw the tent at his partner. ‘If you won’t do it, you’re not gonna stop me’ he said simply, unpacking the rest of his equipment.

Within an hour, they’d got the camp set up and Hutch had started looking up at the rock again.

‘It’s the only way to get over it Starsk. Just give it a try. We’ll use a rope. I won’t let you fall’.

But Starsky’s face had gone several shades paler at the mere mention of the climb and Hutch knew not to push. He hauled himself to his feet.

‘Ok, but I’m going. Watch if you want. It’s an easy climb’.

‘Hutch don’t. Please. I mean it. I don’t wanna watch. Just don’t go up there’ the brunet pleaded, visibly shaking now. Hutch hardened his heart, intent on his plan.

He turned and walked towards the rocky outcrop, examining the fairly easy ascent.

‘HUTCH don’t, please. HUTCH’.

The blond ignored the pleading although it tore at his heart, and slowly he started to climb. The ascent was easy, the hand and footholds well spaced and the rock firm and hard. There was no crumbling, no shale areas, just the blond, at one with the rock.

Hutch hummed to himself as he climbed. The whole cliff was less that 150 feet high with a grassy top and he crested the summit within 20 minutes, panting slightly with exertion. He levered his body over the top of the cliff and lay on the grassy bank at the top, face turned up to the sunlight.

Below, Starsky had angrily turned his back on his partner. How could Hutch be so cold hearted? He had watched the sure footed blond take the first few steps up the rock, but within three or four feet of the ground, the familiar dizzy sick feeling caught a hold of him and he could feel his body becoming unsteady, a cold sweat breaking out across his forehead and the bridge of his nose and sending trickles down between the blades of his shoulders. He closed his eyes, balling is hands into fists as he strove to conquer his fears, but the emotions were too strong and as Hutch climbed higher, Starsky turned away with a low moan, angry beyond words, but whether it was anger at Hutch or at his own fears, he couldn’t tell.

He went back to the tent and sat with his back purposely to the cliff, refusing to look at the climbing man, but still aware that his partner was getting higher and higher. He drummed his fists against his legs, trying to shut out the irrational fears, rocking back and forth, but just as he was beginning to relax a little he heard a cry from far above him.

Starsky turned and looked at the cliff, seeing a shower of rocks cascading down the rocky face from the top.

‘Hutch?’ he shouted, not seeing the blond anywhere.


‘HUTCH, where are ya?’

‘Up here. Help me….I’m hurt….help….arghh..’

The cry was wrung from the blond’s throat and Starsky cast around for someone to help. He needed someone to get up to his partner to rescue him, but the camping ground was deserted. Again the cry came, fainter this time.


Starsky looked up at the towering cliff that seemed as high as El Capitan. He shook himself as he heard another blood curdling scream from the top of the cliff. It ended in a strangling sob and he made up his mind. Taking off his jacket and throwing it down, he placed his hands on the rock, feeling the sun-warmed surface beneath his palms. He lifted his hands up and grasped the first handhold, letting out a calming breath. And then he began to climb Hutch’s cry still resounding in his ears.

Starsky climbed slowly and steadily, his hands and feet sure on the rock face. Although not used to that particular sort of exertion, he climbed with a feline grace, his fears temporarily forgotten as he rushed to get to his injured friend. Never looking down, he concentrated on reaching for the next hand and foothold, steadily making his way up the rock face, his mind concentrating only on the blond and how he was going to get an injured man down a solid rock cliff.

Before he knew it, his hand touched the feathery grass at the top of the cliff and carefully, the brunet negotiated the last few feet, levering himself over the edge with a final sigh, his hands grasping the tussocky ground as he rolled himself away from the edge of the cliff. He pushed himself to his feet immediately, looking around for his injured partner……and found Hutch sitting up, beaming at him.

‘Knew you could do it for the right motivation’ the blond grinned.

Starsky stared at him, speechless. ‘You weren’t hurt?’


‘You mean you lied to get me to climb up here?’ the brunet said angrily.

‘Well ya did it, didn’t you? And now you know you can, there’ll be no more nightmares’.

‘You bastard’ Starsky spat out furiously and started to walk down the other side of the cliff, which was like a hill, leading back down to the camp ground. He walked stiffly, his back ramrod straight and Hutch stared after him, realising he’d just pushed his partner too hard. He got up and started to walk after his friend, catching up with the seething brunet near the bottom of the hill.

‘Starsk wait up. Starsky! Hey’ he put a hand on the smaller man’s shoulder, but Starsky angrily shrugged it away.

‘Aww c’mon Starsky. I thought I was doing right. I’m sorry, but you had to face it sooner or later’ Hutch tried to explain.

Starsky turned the full force of his indigo blue eyes on the blond, but said nothing. Instead, he started to dismantle the tent, furiously throwing the camping equipment into the car. Hutch started to help, but the brunet had it covered and within minutes the campground was as though they’d never been there.

‘Gimme your keys’ Starsky ground out.


‘Your car keys. Give them to me’.

Wordlessly, Hutch threw the keys to his partner and got into the passenger side of his own car. Starsky got into the driver’s side, distaste registering on his face, but he pushed the keys into the ignition, slammed the selector into drive and floored the gas pedal, the tyres kicking up dust as he pulled away.

The drive back to town was done in silence, the blond realising he’d gone too far this time and sitting uncomfortably in his seat, wondering what he could do to repair the rift he now felt between them. But he’d only done it in his partner’s best interests. He said nothing as Starsky drove back into town, but his eyebrows raised as the curly hared cop pulled not into the road leading to his apartment, but into their doctor’s surgery. Starsky stopped the car.

‘Get out’ he said.

‘Are ya gonna tell me what this is about?’ Hutch asked carefully.


‘For what?’

‘For what you put me through up there’. Starsky pushed open the door to the surgery and waited until Hutch had entered the building before following and closing the door behind him.

‘And the payback is…..?’

‘Ya gotta face your fear Hutch. Stare it in the face you said’.

‘Yeah?’ Hutch said, it beginning to register just what Starsky was doing.

‘And what’s your worst fear Blondie?’

‘No, Starsk, not that’.

‘What’s the matter Blintz. Can’t take a dose of your own medicine? You’ve needed this for a long time now’.

‘No Starsk, I can’t’ Hutch said, paling, trying to back towards the door, but Starsky blocked his path. ‘don’t make me. You know how I feel about them. I can’t……please?’

‘Oh yes ya can. Just this once. Look your fear in the face and you’ll conquer your fear once and for all. That’s what ya told me’.


‘Aw c’mon Blintz! One Tetanus booster and we’re equal!’ Starsky grinned as the nurse came to see them.


The End