No Regrets

By Shawnetildawn

Drama / Action

Chapter 4

All the way home, Starsky could feel his partner’s stare burning into his back. The farther he rode from Hutch’s inner light, the angrier he became, darkness and despair taking hold of his heart once more. ‘What have I done? What have I done?’ the brunet kept asking himself, the litany going ‘round and ‘round in his head, nearly driving himself insane with the guilt he felt, not only for leaving Hutch without talking to him, but for lying to him in the first place.

The dark haired biker revved his engine and picked up even more speed, attempting to outrun his demons with the power of the Harley. He could feel his nose running in the sharp wind and he rubbed at it impatiently, sniffling, as he weaved in and out between the fast moving cars on the highway. The speed and exhilaration of the ride, the power of the machine between his legs, soon pushed his dark thoughts to the back of his mind. He needed to get it together before making it ‘home.’ With his shitty luck, he might see Jasper or one of the other club members along this highway, and he needed his wits about him to deal with those outlaws.

Thoughts of Hutch, his golden visage creased in concern, the warmth of his hand in his, the soft gentleness of his voice, all of these precious memories were secreted away and buried deep within his heart, until he could later take them out, one by one, to remember and to carry him through the many dark and lonely nights of being under and alone. He was ready to break; he knew he couldn’t last much longer under this guise, but it consoled him to know that it would be all over in a couple of days. He could tough it out ‘til then.

He hoped.

After a while, Starsky mentally shifted gears and concentrated on the feel of the bike beneath him, the powerful engine churning beneath his thighs, the wind enfolding him on all sides, the oneness of the road, his mind clearing itself of its heavy thoughts. Although the brunet missed driving his flashy red and white striped Torino, there was nothing that could compare to the freedom of riding a huge Harley Davidson.

On a motorcycle like this, there were no metal constraints that boxed you in. On a bike, it was just you, the road and nature. Riding a motorcycle enabled you to free your mind and soul, you body becoming part of the machine beneath you as you hugged the road, leaning into the turns, your mind and the machine in balance and harmony. Once freed of the steel cage of a car, you could experience a broader sense of the world, your senses coming alive, the different smells, the feel of the wind and the raindrops, the warmth of the sun on your head and back, everything surrounding you becoming a part of you. That was the joy one had in riding a motorcycle and Starsky reveled in it.

By the time he exited off the freeway, drawing closer to his cover pad, his mind felt a lot clearer. He would have to call or find a way to see Hutch and come clean with his partner, as soon as he had the chance. In any case, Thursday would be here soon enough and by then Hutch would know for sure.

“Aw shit!” the brunet hissed under his breath, spying Diesel’s dark blue Harley parked in front of his apartment in the distance, “Fuck . . . that’s all I need right now,” Starsky swore under his breath, attempting to slow the beating of his heart as he pulled his bike behind his presidents’. All he wanted to do was to lie down and crash for a bit. He was so dead tired after his exhilarating ride, his body protesting even the slightest movement as he got off the bike. Taking off his dark shades, the undercover cop swaggered over to Diesel who was reclining on the seat of his Harley.

“Hey . . .” Starsky called out, nodding his head in the direction of the sandy, longhaired blond who slowly sat up with a grin on his face. Diesel got off his bike, and both men shook hands using their club handshake, slapping each other on the backs before giving each other a huge hug.

Starsky could feel himself settling down into his biker persona. The familiar hugs and handshakes were all part of the same song and dance the bikers did whenever they saw one another. There was a sense of ‘family’ and camaraderie that all bikers shared with each other, like an ‘us’ against the world attitude that drew these men close together, bonding the club with a perverse sense of loyalty and love.

It surprised the brunet to feel these same feelings of brotherhood when he looked at Diesel. Like Hutch, Diesel was all golden blond, but where Hutch was soft and gentle, Diesel was a rough and hardened biker who had seen too much shit in his life. If Diesel had been born under different circumstances, Starsky was certain that his man would have been like his partner. There was a decency that ran in the blood of the club’s president, an air of charisma that drew other men to follow his lead and Starsky could sense this. It was probably what drew them together in the first place, for both bikers shared these same traits.

“Where ya been, Snake?” Diesel asked, his pale blue eyes twinkling merrily. “Been waitin’ hours for ya, buddy . . .”

“Yeah?” Starsky answered cockily, his own eyes reflecting amusement. “Why’d you stay out here? Y’know where I keep the spare key. You could’a gone in and crashed on the couch.”

“Nah . . . you know that ain’t my style. I don’t go into anyone’s house uninvited. Anyway, I knew you weren’t home . . . your bike was gone,” Diesel said grinning, “So where ya been? Was worried about ch’ya . . . after last night and all . . .” The president of the ‘Devil’s Minions’, or ‘Minions’ for short, carefully eyed the brunet, and then followed the curly haired biker into his dingy abode, snorting softly as Snake flopped down on the dilapidated couch.

“I was out . . . ridin’ ‘til dawn. Watched the sun come up at the beach, then got some grub and came on home.” Starsky drawled, amazed at how easily he could come up with spur of the moment lies.

“Yeah?” Diesel murmured, his sky blue eyes seemed to look into the brunet’s soul and Starsky suppressed a shiver. “You look like shit, buddy,” the long haired biker assessed, as he moved Snake’s legs off the couch and sat down next to him, leaning his head back against the stained cushions and closing his eyes. “You did good to ride little brother, there’s nothing like seeing sunshine on chrome. Y’should’ve waited for me though, I’d’ve gone with ya . . . haven’t seen the beach or watched a sunrise in a long, long time,” Diesel said tiredly.

Starsky closed his eyes too, feeling so burnt and weary; his body on a downward slide from the drugs he had taken before he went out to hunt Brody down. Diesel had given him three or four lines of uncut ‘stuff’ and the pureness of the drug had ripped into the dark haired cop’s nasal passages, burning its way down to his throat. The brunet sniffled. Just thinking about the cocaine he took, made his body instantly react with a craving. He could feel himself wanting more of it and a part of him burned in humiliation and self-loathing. This was getting way out of hand and he knew it.

He opened one eye to peek out at Diesel who still sat with his eyes closed. It was the chapter’s president that usually shared his stash with Snake and he always had ‘good’, expensive stuff. Starsky had been snorting uncut coke for a couple of months now, and as his addiction to the drug grew stronger, so did the bond of Diesel’s friendship. The two bikers, one dark in coloring, the other light, grew closer as trust was instilled between the two men.

Starsky closed his eyes remembering back to the first time he’d been forced under his cover to snort some snow. A shipment of cocaine had arrived at the warehouse and Diesel and Sniper were there to supervise its distribution. ‘The Minions’ were known to be the transportation hub of illegal drugs in California. Many Columbian and Mexican dealers moved their drugs and illegal firearms through this outlaw club, who dispersed it out to other clubs in different states and cities. It was quite a profitable business. The brunet’s mind drifted back to that fateful day a little over two months ago . . .

“It’s here . . . it’s arrived!” Jasper whooped excitedly, taking out his large bowie knife, cutting the cords that were tied tightly around the burlap-covered shipment. Starsky moved in to help other club members as they dug into the packing, pulling up brown paper packages stuffed with cocaine. Kilo after kilo was removed amid the gleeful whistles and cheering of the excited bikers who eagerly stacked the packages on a long wooden table.

Starsky stared at the accumulated stash. He’d never seen this much snow since that bust he and Hutch were on a few years back. It was no wonder that good cops like Burke and Corman would turn bad, thinking of all the money and profit that could be made, once the kilos of coke were cut and put out on the streets.

“Pretty impressive, huh Snake? I bet you didn’t think it ‘snowed’ here in Los Angeles like it does in New York?”

Starsky turned to see Diesel standing just behind him, his sky blue eyes were locked on the pile of brown paper packages, “That stuff is uncut right now . . . pure gold!” the blond biker said, his arms were crossed over the black leather vest that he wore with the a red patch of a leering devil’s face sewed on the back of it. Everyone in the club knew that cocaine was Diesel’s first choice of drugs . . . the man rarely did any other type and he always used coke that was uncut and pure.

“Hey Jasper . . . toss a bag over here!” Diesel said to the burly older man who immediately complied. Diesel easily caught the bag with one hand; and Starsky watched as some white, pearlescent powder dusted the floor beneath him.

“You gonna take that kilo for yourself, man?” Sniper asked, as he came to stand next to Diesel, licking his lips at the thought of some of having some of that white candy.

“I always take one for myself,” Diesel grinned, “You know that, Snipe. Now see to it that everything goes smoothly this time, and make sure that this shipment gets dispersed correctly.”

“Yeah, you got it,” Sniper said, eyeing the dark curly haired biker that stood to the left of Diesel. “You gonna share some of that snow with him?” The red headed man nodded in the direction of Starsky, his green eyes narrowing with jealousy.

Diesel turned to look at Snake, grinning widely. “I don’ know . . . you want some of this? It’s good stuff . . . just as good as the snow you’ve probably used in New York.”

Starsky’s mind raced as he tried to think up a plausible response to Diesel’s question. So far, whenever he was offered some weed, uppers or horse, by club members he was able to turn it down, claiming that he’d been off the stuff for a while since he was in prison and for the most part, the other members respected his wishes, awed by the fact that Snake was the one brother who escaped the evil clutches of the law and got out in one piece from behind bars.

The club members all held Snake in high esteem, awed by his courage and reputation as a tough street fighter and his steadfast loyalty to the outlaw clubs. It was rumored that Snake went to prison in the first place to protect his own chapter president, instead of selling him out to the cops. In the biker world, this showed an extreme sacrifice and loyalty . . . a man such as Snake was to be honored.

‘The Minions’ knew that Diesel was doing Snake a huge favor by hiding him out here, and they regarded the biker from Brooklyn as an almost a legendary figure, since his escape was from a high security prison. Starsky knew that much of his survival in the dark world of the outlaw bikers was based on his reputation that preceded him here, and for that he was thankful. It made his job of infiltrating the ranks of the club that much easier, since he didn’t have to start at the bottom like some of the new prospects who hung out at the club, hoping to be “patched” in.

Some members took great joy in harassing the prospects, making them serve the bikers like servants, treating them like shit, making them degrade and humble themselves as the rowdy bikers howled with laughter. Men like Sniper, were especially hard on the new prospects and it was all Starsky could do to hold his tongue at the cruelty he witnessed.

“Well?” Diesel said casually, “Want some nose candy? I have a lot to share,” the tall blond biker chuckled good-naturedly, gesturing with a wave of his hand to the wooden table stacked with kilos of pure cocaine.

Starsky could see Sniper eyeing him suspiciously as the dark haired cop hesitated.

“I can’t figure you out, Snake,” Sniper said slowly, bloodshot green eyes narrowing with distrust, “Everyone tells me that you don’t do stuff anymore. Now I find that hard to believe because we all heard you were the biggest coke-head in Brooklyn.”

“Yeah?” Starsky said calmly, though his heart was racing, “You heard about my snorting days, huh? Well . . . I got cleaned out in the joint. Don’t really care to start that shit again.”

“What’s a few lines gonna do,” the vice-president persisted, his eyes narrowing with suspicion. “Using snow ain’t like doing horse . . . it’s easy to kick it and you’re our guest here . . . you wouldn’t want us to think you’re too good for us now . . . would you? I always found the idea of you escaping Riker’s Island really interesting . . . I mean . . . just how did you escape?”

Starsky could feel Diesel’s eyes on him, as well as the eyes of several other members who stood close enough to hear the conversation. The dark haired cop wracked his brain, knowing his excuses were growing thin as the paranoid bikers began to gather around.

Starsky hardened his expression, knowing that the bikers, like wolves, respected a show of strength. His dark blue eyes flashed a warning, as he stared the redheaded biker down. “If you heard I used’ta snort, then I’m sure you heard how I escaped. What’s it to you how I got here? I’m here . . . and if you don’t like it . . . then I’ll leave! It’s as simple as that. And if you want to make somethin’ more of it . . . then let’s go . . .” The dark haired biker nodded to the cleared floor in front of him, egging Sniper on for a fight.

“Take it easy, Snake,” Diesel said, his voice calm and wary, holding the curly haired man back. “Snipe still needs to learn when to keep his trap shut. He meant no harm . . . jus’ wanted you to join us for some lines . . . no harm in askin’. You remember how good it feels . . . the rush, flying high from the dust, the burn down your throat . . . you know how it is, man . . .”

The tall blond biker whipped his butterfly knife around until it clicked into place only to stab it into the brown paper package, sliding some powder out on the knife’s tip, showing it to the dark haired man. “Ya see? Good stuff. Like Sniper said, a few lines ain’t gonna hurt ch’ya . . . hell, you know that . . .”

The whole time Diesel was speaking he was carefully using his knife to make twelve lines of cocaine on a large glass mirror. “Here ya go, buddy. I made four lines for each of us. How ‘bout it? We’ll fly as high as a kite, then I’ll race ya on my Harley . . . there’s nothin’ like the speed of our bikes, the wind blowin’ us away, we’ll be flyin’ on the inside as well as the outside . . . true freedom, man!” Diesel smiled, his light blue eyes were soft and dreamlike, his voice almost hypnotic. He held out a straw to Sniper and then one to Snake who reluctantly took it, feeling the eyes of the club members as they curiously watched him like a hawk.

The dark haired cop eyed Sniper as he greedily sucked up the white powder through the straw in his nose. Watching as his green eyes glazed over, seeing him tremble slightly as the rush took him over, Starsky realized that Diesel was waiting for him. The brunet turned to look at the tall blond biker.

“After you, buddy,” Diesel said, gesturing to the next four lines.

The dark haired cop swallowed the sense of panic that flooded his being, knowing he was trapped as the others carefully watched what he would do. The brunet knew that in any undercover operation there would be times when you had to fake it ‘til you make it. Starsky knew he had no choice, but as soon as he could, he would hightail it out of there and get some help to detox.

Starsky grinned. “Here’s to freedom, man . . .” he said cockily, stilling the slight trembling of his hands, sticking the straw into his left nostril, closing his eyes as he inhaled. He could feel the powder entering his nasal passage, and then the burn that ran down his throat. The brunet could feel the immediate euphoric rush that sent him flying, vaguely registering that Diesel had lowered his sandy blond head to snort up the remaining lines. He could hear the other members laughing, as Sniper loudly joked around, humiliating a young prospect named Rocky who wanted to join the Devil’s Minions.

The dark haired cop grinned, as Diesel slapped him on the back. “You flyin’ man?” the blond’s warm voice chuckled, “You flyin’ as high as I am?”

“Shit . . . this stuff is fuckin’ good . . . it kicks ass!” Starsky laughed, not even caring if this statement made sense, since he’d never snorted before. There was nothing he cared about anymore, yet a part of him cautioned himself about being too talkative.

A commotion made the blond and brunet turn around to witness Sniper kicking the young kid named Rocky. For a while now, the vice president had been picking on this new prospect, but because he was feeling high, he was being especially vindictive to the young kid who couldn’t have been older than eighteen.

Over the past few weeks, Starsky had seen Sniper making the young boy polish his boots, had seen him kick the kid around making him lick up his spit, getting his jollies degrading the young man as the other bikers laughed and jeered him on. Seeing things like that pissed the detective off, and the brunet silently seethed inside.

Starsky watched as Sniper now stuck a cigarette into his mouth and snapped his fingers for the boy to light it. After taking a few puffs from the cigarette, the biker cruelly ground the cigarette out on the back of the young man’s hand, laughing as the boy cried out in pain.

“Light it up again,” Sniper growled, jeering at the young man who shakily lit the match again and held it out to the red haired biker who puffed another cigarette to life. Sniper grinned evilly, “Hold out your other hand kid . . .”

“N-No . . .” Rocky begged softly, his voice quavering, holding his burnt hand tightly against his chest as he blew the match out.

“What? Then I guess you can’t be a Minion . . . only the toughest get to be in our club . . . now hold out your fuckin’ hand or walk out of here . . .” Sniper leered, taking a long drag on the cigarette, watching Rocky’s nervous eyes fixating on the glowing end.

“Knock it off, Sniper!” Starsky hissed, unable to stand the look of abject fear in the boy’s eyes. “Leave the kid alone . . . you hurt ‘im enough.” The brunet walked towards the young kid who stood shaking, his dark brown eyes beseeching the help of the curly haired biker who calmly maneuvered the boy behind him, as he faced the angry vice president.

“Fuck off, Snake!” Sniper sneered, “We do thing differently here than in New York.” The red-head grabbed Rocky’s hand, pulling him from behind the brunet, backhanding the boy as he struggled to get free.

“I said leave the kid alone!” Starsky snarled, suddenly grabbing the hand of Sniper, twisting it as he shoved him away from the cowering boy, flipping the biker over and hearing the angry redhead curse as he fell to the ground. “If I were you kid,” Starsky said, turning to the frightened boy, “I’d find some other place to hang at.” Rocky nodded, his eyes wide with fear and pain, backing out slowly, only to turn and run out of the clubhouse.

Sniper got up quickly, pissing mad when he heard the snickers from some of the members. “And who the fuck do you think you are anyway, huh? I’m the fuckin’ vice president of this fuckin’ club!” Sniper shouted, the drug making him feel bold and daring. He stormed over to Snake, his hands clenched in fists that itched to connect with the jaw of the dark haired biker that ticked with suppressed hostility.

“Snipe!” The calm voice of Diesel rang out. “Fuck man . . . chill out . . . you’re ruining my high . . . this shit is expensive stuff and you’re fucking it up, man! Now sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up! From now on, I don’t wanna see anybody manhandling the new prospects . . . you got that, boys?”

Satisfied at the nods and murmurs of affirmation from his men, the blond biker turned his icy blue gaze to the dark haired man who stood rigidly in the circle of burly leather clad bikers, his sky blue eyes immediately softened with admiration for the man named Snake. There was something decent about the rough New Yorker that Diesel found appealing.

“Snake . . . let’s ride outta here for a bit.” Diesel cajoled the brunet, wrapping a muscled arm around the shoulders of the curly haired man, leading him away from Sniper who glared angrily at the two departing men, feeling the ugly hand of jealousy choking him alive, fueling his anger and his hatred against the biker from New York . . .

“Hey, you awake, Snake?” Diesel mumbled sleepily, gently thumping the legs of the brunet who lounged on the couch. The blond biker snorted softly, the beginnings of a smile gracing his lips. “That rhymes.”

The dark haired man opened his eyes to stare into light blue orbs that reminded him of Hutch’s. His thoughts slowly drifted back to the present, as guilt once again filled his heart when he thought about his partner, and how he couldn’t bring himself to even look at his blond counterpart when he left this morning.

‘He knows.’

“Hey, you okay?” Diesel’s soft voice intruded on his thoughts and Starsky forced himself to grin at the leader of “The Devil’s Minions”, who watched him with concerned eyes. “How ya feelin’, buddy?”

Starsky shrugged, “’Kay, I guess . . . kinda tired.”

“Yeah, you don’ look too good. You’re crashin’ man, but I got more stuff that’ll help ya through this. I’ll give you some more candy before I leave. Gotta have you up and at ‘em at ‘church’ tonight. It’s gonna rock . . . the Oakland chapter is givin’ us a gift and I want you right there beside me, buddy, to receive it.”

“Yeah? What kind of gift?” Starsky asked, closing his eyes once again, his dark lashes smudging his pale cheeks, his body feeling heavy and lethargic. The thought of Diesel cutting more lines filled his soul with an intense craving that sickened him. An image of Hutch’s face appeared behind his closed lids, making the brunet want to suddenly throw up, but he forced himself to concentrate on what Diesel was saying instead.

“Don’ know . . .” the blond biker continued, “But after what happened last night, anything’ll be good.”

Starsky opened his eyes, wishing he had turned on the ‘bug’ in his apartment that would tape their conversation for the Feds sitting somewhere in their van. Unfortunately, since the blond biker had been waiting for him when he rode up, it would be nearly impossible for him to turn the mechanism on without Diesel seeing him do it in the cramped quarters they were in.

“What happened after I left?” Starsky asked quietly, his heart aching, still hearing the pleas of the man named Brody ringing in his ears once more. “What happened to Brody?”

Diesel sighed heavily and then shrugged. “What do you think happened?” For a minute both bikers remained silent, sniffling every now and then in the stillness of the small apartment.

“I heard them mention the ‘abyss’. What is that?” Starsky asked softly, his dark eyes locked intently on Diesel’s.

“Nothing you need to know about, man.” The tall blond hedged. “Some things are better left unknown bro’ . . . you know that. It’s safer that way.”

“Why’d you tell me to go home last night? Starsky queried, his voice soft with hesitation, as he kept his gaze locked on the tall blond. “How come you pulled me outta that fight?”

“Did you want t’be there?” Diesel asked quietly, his pale blue eyes seemed to look into Starsky’s soul. “I could see it was tearing you up inside to draw first blood.”

Starsky looked down at his knuckles that were bruised and scabbed, feeling sick once more as he thought of the bloody man bombarded by the angry outlaws. He could feel his breath quickening at the thought, his heart accelerating.

“Take it easy, little brother,” Diesel said calmly, laying a large hand on Starsky’s thigh. “Ain’t nothin’ you can do about it now. Just stay far away from Sniper . . . he hates you with a passion, man.” The blond took out a pack of cigarettes and offered one of them to the brunet who took it, bending his dark curly head over the lit match that Diesel held out to him.

The blond lit his own cigarette, inhaling deeply as tendrils of smoke came out through his nostrils. “Yup, nothin’ you can do. Everyone crashes on the road of life, buddy, some get back up, some don’t, and some can’t.”

“Yeah? And which one is Brody?” Starsky whispered softly, his eyes growing stormy with suppressed anger. The brunet lowered his eyes to the lit cigarette in his hand and inhaled, feeling the smoke burning its way down to his lungs.

Diesel snorted softly. “Shit happens to everyone, Snake. I’ve learned to just ride on . . . feel the wind in my face. Now that’s what joy feels like, man . . . you see how them dogs hang their heads outta windows? They know how to feel joy.” The blond nodded slightly, his light blues eyes twinkling with mirth.

Diesel took a long draw from his cigarette, blowing the smoke out slowly. He turned to look at Starsky, his eyes narrowing, as if pondering over something. “Ya know . . . there’s somethin’ different about you Snake . . . somethin’ the others don’t have. I sense it every time I’m with ya. You fought in ‘Nam, didn’t you?”

At Starsky’s slight nod, Diesel smiled sadly. “Yeah, me too. Saw some pretty nasty things there, but also some beautiful things . . . like when the mist stood still over the rice fields in the quiet early mornings, or when the sun crept slowly over the hills, painting the clouds all gold and silver. I saw a lot of my friends die in ‘Nam . . . and I saw some others messed up in their heads when they came back to the States. Not me. I learned that to travel fast in life, you gotta travel light. You gotta leave the baggage behind, man, learn from the past, but don’t live there. You can’t let shit like that rent space in your head, y’know?”

Diesel took another long drag from his cigarette, blowing the smoke out slowly as he softly continued, his eyes distant and focused on some inner thought. “You learn about life the hard way when you’re in ‘Nam. You learn that life is short, you can be snuffed out just like that!” Starsky watched as Diesel threw his cigarette down, grinding it with the toe of his leather boot on the dirty floor of his apartment.

“You see?” Diesel said, indicating the crushed tobacco. “Just like that . . . life’s gone. You and I know there ain’t no reverse gears on a bike, Snake, and that’s why I live my life with no regrets. I live in the now, because there might not be a tomorrow, man. No regrets. That’s freedom, baby . . . and freedom is the best ride anyone can have in life. That’s the motto you should adopt too, Snake. No regrets! You’ve been in ‘Nam . . . you know I’m right.” The tall blond gently squeezed the brunet’s shoulder. “I know you’re hurtin’ about what happened to Brody, buddy, but dying is easy . . . it’s living that’s hard. So free yourself, man, and just let it go. Sweet surrender, baby.”

Starsky stared at the blond biker as his low, but gentle voice faded. It astounded the brunet to hear this man’s philosophy on life and living on the road, giving his biker credos and advice to another man that he barely knew. The further he got entangled with Diesel, the more bewildered Starsky became.

The dark haired cop hated to admit it, but it would hurt him to hand Diesel over to the Feds, to lock the blond biker up behind bars where he couldn’t see the sunshine on chrome, or feel the wind blowing on his face. The brunet felt torn and confused for a part of him didn’t want to feel compassion for a criminal, he was the bad guy, and yet, the dark haired cop knew in his heart that he truly admired the blond biker. Starsky could hear his mind coming up with excuses, rationalizing that Diesel had served his country and his chapter as best as he could, he took Snake under his wing, giving him a place of refuge where he could start over, and he lived his life for the freedoms that he so craved. Though it all made sense in Starsky’s head, his cop’s heart wouldn’t let him get away with those justifications for long.

Diesel was an enigma to Starsky. The tall blond biker had a good heart, but he stood on the wrong side of the law, and that was something Starsky couldn’t let go of. Thinking these deep thoughts made the brunet feel even worse, and he closed his eyes, wanting only to sleep away his confusion and rest the clamoring in his head.

Diesel reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a small glass plate and a little bottle of white powder which he deftly spooned out onto the glass, cutting it into three lines, “Here, take this,” the long haired blond said, handing Starsky a clean straw. “It’ll help.”

Starsky opened his eyes, his body instantly hurting as the craving need took over. Without thinking of the consequences and shutting out the berating of his conscience, Starsky stuck the straw in his nostril and inhaled, his body jolting with the euphoric feeling of joyful release from the heavy bondage it was under. The brunet closed his eyes; dark long lashes hiding the intense rush he was feeling, his breathing accelerating.

“Freedom, baby,” Diesel whispered, squeezing the brunet’s shoulder once more before he got to his feet. “Remember . . . be at church by six sharp. I don’t want you to miss out! Y’got that, little brother?”

Starsky opened his eyes, the blue nearly swallowed by the black of his dilated pupils, “Yeah . . . I heard ya . . . I’ll be there.”

Diesel snorted softly, knowing the dark haired biker was riding the crest of a high that was making him feel so good. The tall blond stooped to tousle the unruly sable locks of his friend. “Good . . . I’ll see ya tonight then. Enjoy the ride, Snake!”

“Yeah, see ya,” Starsky murmured, his heart beating rapidly as he leaned back into the dirty cushions of the broken down couch, closing his eyes as he rode out the euphoric wave that washed over him. “No regrets, man . . . no regrets!” the brunet said softly to no one in the dingy room.

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