“Hey,” Hutch greeted softly, opening the door to the skinny black man, the afternoon sun, filling the hallway from the doorway on the bottom of the stairs. “Thanks for coming, Hug.”
“No problema,” Huggy said, looking around the place. “Sorry I’m late. Had to find Anita to open and run the place ‘til I come back. So where is he?”
“He’s been sleeping since I called you,” Hutch said. “I just made him some chicken soup. He had a fever earlier this morning, but it’s broken now. He’s just been sleeping like a log.”
“Yeah . . . that’s to be expected when you’re strung out on coke.” Huggy said softly, noting how the blond’s pale blue gaze shifted to the floor. “You still don’t believe me?”
Hutch sighed wearily and walked over to the couch to sit down, nodding to the lanky black man to do the same. “He finally admitted it last night . . . told me he’s hooked on the stuff,” the blond said sadly, reaching into his pocket to remove the small bottle of cocaine. “This fell out of his pocket,” Hutch said, handing the bottle over to the proprietor of “The Pits,” a bar and grill that both he and Starsky often frequented.
Huggy reached out a long, slim hand to grasp the tiny bottle, raising it to eye-level. His shrewd gaze noticed the shimmering color of the powder. “Mmm-mmm, this here’s good stuff, pure and uncut, this gives you a high like nothin’ else in the world. The only drawback to doin’ coke is that it don’t last too long, that’s why coke-heads usually graduate to something stronger like horse. The high you get from heroin lasts a lot longer . . . but you pay for it in the end.”
“They broke some of his ribs the other night,” Hutch said softly, changing the subject. “He’s hurting . . . in more ways than one.” Huggy’s ominous words made the blond remember his own addiction to heroin and the hell of withdrawal, and Hutch could once again feel the fear crawl back into his gut.
Huggy frowned, feeling sorry for his dark haired friend. “When was the last time he had his fix?”
Hutch cringed at that last word. “I-I don’t know . . . his pupils were dilated when he came over last night, but now they appear normal. I mean they looked okay when he woke up from a bad dream earlier this morning, and he’s been sleeping ever since.”
“He’s going through withdrawal, Hutch. Coke addicts feel dead to the world once the drug starts leaving their system. They feel like shit. Man, if it’s been that long since his last fix, he must be on the edge.” Huggy shook his head sympathetically, “And with those busted ribs, Starsky must feel ten times worse. The cocaine masks the pain when they’re flyin’ high, but once it’s gone, all the hurt comes screaming back and then some. He’s gonna be one grouchy dude . . . moody as hell.”
“Yeah. Well, why don’t you help me make some sandwiches, Hug, and I’ll ladle the soup. We’ll bring the grouch a peace offering, huh? Hutch grinned, as he got up to make his way to the kitchen . . .
Starsky could hear the soft murmurings coming from the other room, as he sat on the edge of the bed. From the sound of the other voice, he knew Hutch was probably talking to Huggy. The dark haired cop wiped the sweat from his face and blinked the perspiration from his eyes, breathing harshly through his mouth, as he rode out the pain in his side. He was so tired, his body heavy and lethargic, not wanting to move at all and yet, the craving need for more cocaine wheedled its way into his consciousness even as he tried to retreat from it in sleep, waking him with a desperate want for more of the drug.
The curly haired biker slowly rose to his feet, and though his hand pressed against his side to stabilize his ribs, the brunet couldn’t contain the soft gasp that escaped his lips as red-hot barbs stabbed repeatedly into his side. Starsky scrunched his eyes tight and breathed through the wave of pain that tore through him. “Fuck!” the brunet gasped, as he reached out a hand and pressed it against the wall to steady himself.
Breathing heavily, Starsky sniffled and opened his eyes once more, looking desperately around the room. His mind screamed out for more of the white powder that would take away the punishing pain in his side. It killed him to know that inhaling just a few lines of the stuff would end this awful misery. ‘God, I feet like shit!’
‘Where the fuck did Hutch put that bottle?’ the dark haired detective thought, feeling his temper beginning to rise as he rummaged through Hutch’s stuff in his drawers, carelessly throwing out shirts and underwear on the ground in his desperation to find what he needed. His heart was beating strange rhythms that made the brunet feel drained and weary, yet the need for coke drove him relentlessly on. Starsky stumbled to the closet, searching through coat pockets and shoe-boxes, not even caring anymore about the mess he was making in Hutch’s room.
“Where the fuck is it?” the brunet snarled softly to himself, his head pounding incessantly as the driving want took precedence over everything else. ‘Just where the fuck did he hide it?’
In his haste to reach for another box that he saw on the closet’s top rack, Starsky intuitively made a grab for it with his left hand, crying out suddenly as pain battered into him once again, his fractured ribs stretching painfully to accommodate his reach.
The wounded cop doubled over, gasping softly, his right hand clutching his side, as waves of agony ripped into him. Though his body protested any more movement, his mind screamed out at him to continue the search, the sweet drug calling out to him to find it. Breathing heavily and drenched in sweat, the dark haired cop looked up as the bedroom door quietly opened.
“Hey bud . . .” Hutch’s pale blue eyes widened with shocked surprise, looking from his partner to the mess around the room.
Starsky looked away as his partner’s eyes returned to his, feeling sick with himself, shame curdling in his stomach, making him want to throw up, as he looked around the room and saw how destructive the need was that tormented his soul. Knowing that he’d made this mess was humiliating; he was lost, his mind battling itself, as even now, he could hear the enticing call of the drug, whispering in his mind, beckoning him to continue the search to find it . . . knowing that just a few lines would take the burning edge off . . . he could hear the sweet call of the drug . . .
“It’ll make you feel so much better . . . you want me . . .”
“Starsk . . . Starsky!”
The brunet looked up sharply, his mind snapping back to the present, making eye contact with his friend who slowly walked towards him.
“It’s okay, pal,” Hutch said softly, reaching out a tentative hand to his distraught partner, purposely softening his voice to soothe the brunet as he listened to the sniffles and the rapid, shallow breathing of his friend who was obviously in a lot of pain. “Take it easy, Starsk . . . let me help you,” the tall blond whispered gently, as he placed a warm hand on his partner’s shoulder.
Starsky stiffened and quickly pulled away, grunting softly as he forced himself to stand, wanting only to lie back down in bed and never get up. He hurt, his side aching from the beating he took, but more than that, his heart ached from having Hutch see him like this.
“Don’t,” the brunet rasped, “Get out, Hutch! Leave me alone!” Starsky could feel himself getting angry, wanting to lash out at the blond for taking his stash. He knew Hutch had it somewhere and it filled him with a desperate, anxiousness that made his hands tremble.
“Let me help you, buddy,” Hutch said softly, dropping his hand as Starsky shrugged it off. The tall blond could see the craving need in the familiar sapphire eyes that sparked with suppressed anger and frustration. He knew what the brunet had been hunting for . . . it wasn’t so long ago that Hutch was in the very same place that his partner was, ready to sell his soul for another fix. “Starsk . . .”
“You wanna help me, huh?” Starsky snarled, stumbling back to the bed, his head felt heavy and muddled, his judgment cloudy, his reactions slower than usual, as his body begged for more cocaine. “Jus’ give me . . . that bottle . . . you took from me last night.”
The dark haired cop, climbed wearily back into bed, hating himself for voicing his dependency upon the drug, but a part of him didn’t give a fuck what Hutch thought of him anymore. He needed some stuff and he needed it now. Thoughts of Diesel crossed his mind. His brother would give it to him and not let him suffer like this. The brunet looked up as Huggy entered the room with a tray of sandwiches and a bowl of soup.
“Hey Starsky, m’man, looky what we gots for ya . . . some homemade chicken soup!” Huggy grinned. Although the dark man kept his voice light, he was wise enough to know that the brunet was on the edge, craving for something more than just soup. He had told Hutch in the kitchen that Starsky would have no appetite, but the blond had insisted they try to get some food into their friend. The lanky, black man eyed the sullen cop who sniffled and nodded in his direction.
“Hey. . .” the biker greeted his friend stiltedly, the smell of the soup making his stomach turn, as Huggy laid the tray over his lap. Starsky sniffled, rubbing the back of his wrist against his nose, as he looked over his fare. Chicken soup and salami sandwiches! The sight made him feel ill, his only desire right now was for more coke. The sight of food sickened him. “I ah . . . I’m not very hungry right now . . .” the brunet mumbled.
“Try some, buddy,” Hutch coaxed softly, his light blue eyes growing soft with concern, “You might feel a little better . . .”
Starsky sniffled again, feeling irritated at the blond’s gentle push. “I said I don’ want any soup . . . the only thing I want is . . .” The dark haired cop caught himself before he gave into the craving need, frustration tearing away at his soul as he glared at his partner, breathing heavily, his heart palpitating. “Jus’ . . . jus’ take this away before I throw it away!” the biker snapped angrily, his body heavy and tired, though his mind continued to scream out at him to find Diesel’s bottle. The thought of the white powder drove him to the brink of insanity, the desperate need tearing him inside out.
“It’ll make you feel so much better . . . you want me . . .”
Huggy quickly took away the tray, knowing the brunet was ready to blow. He’d seen this kind of thing one too many times, and it pained him to know that Starsky was suffering inside. “Hutch, why don’t you help me take this to the kitchen,” The tall black man said softly. “I think Starsky needs to sleep, not eat.”
“Yeah,” the dark haired cop growled, “Jus’ get the fuck outta here . . . the both of ya!”
The brunet watched sullenly as the door closed softly behind his friends. “Fuck!” Starsky swore softly under his breath, hurting inside because of the way he’d treated his friends, but hurting more with the knowledge that somewhere in this apartment, was a little bottle of snow white powder that could end the pain and weariness he felt, even if it were just for a little while.
Huggy put the tray down on the counter and turned to see Hutch staring at the closed door of the bedroom. “Hey amigo, come over here. He don’t want no company right now, and its best to just let him sweat it out for a bit.” The tall black man saw the blond nod dejectedly as he turned to face him.
“Yeah,” Hutch whispered brokenly. “He’s hurting, Hug, and I don’t know how to help him.”
“You could give him a few lines to take the edge off . . .” Huggy suggested softly. At the blond’s sudden icy glare, the skinny, black man held up his hands as if to shield himself from the coldness in his friend’s pale blue eyes. “Listen to me, Hutch,” Huggy began gently, “He’s been under for six months now amd we don’t know for sure how long he’s been hooked, right?
At the blond’s slight nod, Huggy cleared his throat and continued. “Well . . . one or two more nights on the stuff ain’t gonna kill him, in fact, it might help him. If I remember right, everything gets wrapped up at tomorrow’s big bust. Starsky’s gonna need more coke just to function, to get in and set things up. If you send him back tomorrow to his pad looking like shit boiled over, they’re gonna know something is up, y’dig?”
Hutch sighed, “Huggy, I can’t just give him more cocaine! It’s not . . . Starsky’s gonna have to try and . . .”
“He’s gonna have to kick the habit from tomorrow on anyway,” Huggy interjected. “Maybe you should think about giving him some coke tomorrow before he leaves . . . like I said before, the man is gonna need it to function. You seen him, Hutch, he’s as weak as a kitten. He’s playing with some mean cats, dig? Starsky’s gonna be in there alone and he needs to have his reflexes and his mind sharp as ever.”
At the detective’s silence, Huggy nodded, his soft voice whispered ominously. “I know you don’t wanna do it, Hutch, but if you don’t give him a fix, you just might just be sending him to his grave.”
She smiled as large
calloused hands ran over the smoothness of her bare shoulders, and then gently
traced the curve of her hips; the lean, hard length of Diesel’s body pressed
intimately against her spine as he nibbled seductively against the soft
sensitive area behind her ear.
Alice giggled, feeling her heart growing soft with an emotion that was strange and foreign to her. The petite blonde woman turned in the strong arms that held her, her gaze connecting to the sky blue depths that rose above her, staring in fascination as those same eyes melted to an almost silver color, as she ran her painted nails lightly along his strong muscled forearms that held his body up.
She could feel his hard excitement jutting out, searching, as it pressed against her liquid heat and she smiled, her own eyes growing soft as she spread her thighs to welcome the handsome biker, to partner with him in the age-old dance of heated passion. Alice closed her eyes, her long pale lashes hiding the excitement of being with someone who actually meant something to her, feeling the rush of being filled and stretched, as the warmth of his lean muscled body pressed into hers.
Her eyes jolted open, startled at the sudden ringing of the phone beside the bed, feeling Diesel’s body suddenly tensing with frustration. She looked to the blond man above her, seeing a smile of apology gracing his lips.
“Shit, babe,” Diesel whispered softly, gently lowering his head to kiss her lips once more. “Fuckin’ phone’s ringing and I gotta get that.”
“Stay with me, sugar,” Alice whispered seductively, squeezing the hardness within her, smiling as she heard his soft groan above her. “I promise to take you to paradise . . .”
“Sweeeet Alice,” the tall blond whispered, his voice barely audible above the loud ringing that filled the room. “Where the hell have you been all of my life, huh?” Diesel cupped her face with both hands and gently kissed her eyelids shut, pulling his body away from hers, “Be right back, baby, and when I do, you and me both, we’ll go to paradise . . . together.” He smiled as he heard Alice giggle, the sweet sound of her laughter sounding like little bells chiming in the wind.
Sighing, Diesel sat on the edge of the bed, leaning over to peek out of his window at the quiet night, his back facing the enticing siren who lounged seductively, her beautiful ivory skin reflecting the shimmer of light that came through the curtains of the bedroom, reminding the distracted biker of a marble statue of a Greek nymph he’d once seen on one of his many travels since leaving the army. The tall biker ran his fingers through his blond hair and smiled wistfully. Turning his back on that bewitching woman was the only way he could concentrate fully on the voice that came from the other end of the line.
“Yeah?” Diesel said, his lips pressed close to the phone. “Whatta ya got?”
Alice closed her eyes, her body slightly aching from the past night’s lovemaking, feeling the cool sheets beneath her heated body made her want to stretch, as she languished in the feeling of being wanted. She turned her attention to the rigid back of her lover, as she heard the intonation of Diesel’s voice suddenly grow hard.
“Shit! You fuckin’ sure ‘bout that?” Diesel questioned, feeling his body winding even tighter as Jasper’s wife filled him in with the details of what he wanted. “So . . . was this the same cop that was gunned down in Bay City a few years back? Yeah, yeah, I saw the scars . . . yeah.” The tall blond sighed heavily. “Did you get to see what this cop looked like? Could he pass for Snake? Shit . . . mirror image huh? You got his name? Detective David Starsky . . . fuck!”
The blond biker could feel the angry tic in his jaw, as he listened to the details that Jasper’s old lady found out in records. He knew there was something so different about Snake, something that he couldn’t quite place a finger on, thinking it was because they both survived the horrors of ‘Nam.
It pissed Diesel off that he could be so fooled like that. Shit! Sniper was right all along and that thought angered the blond even more. ‘I’m a fuckin’ piss-ass fool’ he berated himself, as he gathered more information about the dark haired cop who had been in their midst for the last six months; listening intently as Jasper’s wife spewed out the facts on this cop, David Starsky, who’d snowed them all for so long.
Diesel listened and noddedd as more facts came over the line, “Yeah? So they’re close? How long have they been partnered and what’s his name? Hutchinson, huh? Ken Hutchinson . . . yeah, I’ll remember that.”
Alice had tensed when she heard Starsky’s name on Diesel’s lips, but hearing Hutch’s name made her heart beat erratically. She bit her lip in trepidation, knowing the curly haired cop’s cover had been blown. She could feel fear crawl up her skin, but she quickly composed herself as Diesel hung up the line and turned to face her once more.
“You okay, sugar?” Alice whispered, plastering a smile to her lips as she looked at the tall handsome blond who slid into bed beside her.
Diesel sighed heavily as
he gathered Alice close to his side, feeling her slender arms wrap around his
back as her breasts pressed against his chest. “Yeah, baby . . . just some
business I have to attend to.” There was a sad intonation to the big blond’s
voice that tore at the petite woman’s heart.
Alice ran her finger down the tall bridge of Diesel’s nose, smiling as her man closed his long pale lashes, “My mama always tol’ me that when a man’s heart is heavy, you could hear it in his voice,” she whispered softly, her sweet southern drawl, soothing the ache in Diesel’s heart.
“Yeah?” the blond biker smiled gently, his lashes fanning out against his cheeks, “What else has your mama told ya?”
“Well . . .,” Alice whispered, moving her finger to softly trace the lips of the man who lay beside her, “My mama always said, that man was made to carry the burdens of the world upon his shoulders, but God gave woman to man to be a helpmate along the way. My mama said that sometimes, if a man was wise enough, he would tell his troubles to his woman and it would help to lift his burdens.”
Diesel chuckled in the dark; the sound of his laughter was warm and rich. ‘Like hot cocoa on a cold winter’s mornin,’’ Alice thought dreamily, loving the feel of his large hand pressing against the small of her back.
“Your mama must’ve been a wise woman,” Diesel murmured, kissing the top of Alice’s head, breathing in the soft, sweet scent of jasmine. “Your daddy was one lucky man.”
Alice smiled as Diesel opened his eyes to stare into her beautiful, sweet face. “My daddy died when I was just a little thing. My mama sure did love him; she nevah did marry another livin’ soul and when I was only eleven, I think she decided to join my daddy in heaven. She always used’ta say, ‘Alison, I can hear your daddy a’callin’ me from afar.”
Alice smiled wistfully, “I always wanted to find a man that would love me, as much as my daddy did my mama.” The blond woman smiled even more as Diesel pulled her even closer. “Maybe . . . maybe now I have . . .”
Diesel felt a small, sharp twinge deep in his heart, as the soft, almost shy words from the woman he held in his arms, floated out into the stillness of the room. He could feel a lump form in his throat and he swallowed it down, smiling as he felt her small frame snuggle even closer to his. He listened intently to her sweet, southern drawl as she whispered softly in the dark.
“My mama used’ta say that when a woman loves her man, she can feel when he needs to talk. Somethin’ tells me that you’re sad, sugar. I can feel your sadness here in your arms,” she said softly, lightly tracing a finger over the muscled biceps of the tall blond biker. “And I can see it in the blue of your eyes, soft blue, like the summer sky over a field of ripening corn, and I can hear it here,” the woman continued, snuggling closer to lay her ear over his chest, “In the beating of your heart . . .” Alice rose up on an elbow, her long blond hair spilling back over her smooth shoulder. “It’s about Snake, isn’t it? I like him Diesel . . . I really do . . . and people always say that I’m a good judge of character!”
Diesel smiled, and gently pushed a strand of blond silk behind her ear. “Do they now? What else do people say about you?” The tall blond man felt himself enraptured as he stared at Alice’s lovely face, enjoying their talk as he got to know the bewitching woman lying beside him. “Tell me . . .”
“Well . . . people say that I’m a good listener too,” Alice whispered softly, “And if you need to talk Diesel, then I’m here for you. I’ll always be here for you, jus’ like my mama was for my daddy.”
The small blond woman snuggled closer as the handsome man beside her chuckled softly and began to talk, listening to the honey-sweet sound of his deep voice, feeling safe and loved in the comfortable sanctuary of their bed . . .