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The football sailed through the air. Hutch stretched for it, a couple of steps in front of the defender.
It landed within Hutch's grip, and the force was such that he went to his knees. But the defender -- George Powers from Records -- had too much momentum for his own good. He stumbled forward, then fell before reaching Hutch and rolled over.
"You haven't been downed!" Starsky screamed from the sideline. "Go, Blintz! Go, go, go!"
Hutch staggered to his feet, tucking the ball against his side, and sprinted toward the flour-made goal line. Other defenders from the white team chased after him, reaching for the red flags hanging from the belt tied about his hips, but they were unable to catch him in time. The entire sideline screamed with delight as Hutch penetrated the end zone.
Rather than celebrating as a professional player may have been inclined to do, Hutch merely knelt on the ground, gasping for breath. His teammates reached him, congratulating him with slaps on the shoulders and back, and only with their help did he manage to regain his footing.
Starsky nodded to himself with satisfaction. Hours ago, when the selection process had taken place, he had overheard someone complaining that they didn't want Hutch on their team, because he was too old. Granted the blond, at almost 39, was the senior member of all those who were playing. But, man, had he ever proven his worth with that last play.
The majority of participants at the picnic were on the sidelines, enjoying the game. Starsky had been eliminated without even going through the selection process, for a three-week-old flesh wound to his calf had made such physical activity -- even a friendly game of flag football -- out of the question. He'd considered the offer to referee, but had ended up declining that, too, for he was more interested in watching Hutch play.
The teams were lining up again, prepared for what was likely to be the final kickoff, as they were into the final minutes of the game.
"There's no way the white team can catch them now," Officer Cindy Pearson said as she moved to stand next to Starsky. She was wearing shorts and had her blond hair tied back in a ponytail. "Hutch put the game away."
Starsky grinned. "He sure did." The red team was leading the white by a score of 28 to 20.
Cindy held a hand up to her eyes to block out the sun as the kickoff commenced. "For a minute there, I was afraid he was going to pass out in the end zone."
Starsky shrugged, not really interested in conversation while the game was going on. "I don't think many of us are up to this kind of intense physical activity for a whole hour." He, too, was shielding his eyes from the sun.
There were noises from the field and bystanders as the kick returner from the white team was downed at the fifteen yard line.
"I heard you two moved in together."
Starsky frowned, eyes still on the field. Her statement had been framed in the tone of a question. He considered not answering, but was afraid that silence would be more ominous than any kind of reply he could give. He settled for a shrug. "Neither of us could have bought a house close to town on our own." He wondered if his tone sounded defensive.
"Man," she said, "I believe in partnerships on the street. But I can't imagine moving in with my partner. Don't you two get sick of each other?"
He managed the hint of a smile. "We have separate bathrooms." He said it as though that should explain everything. And, before he had spoken, he'd done a quick calculation to figure the possibility that Cindy Pearson would ever have cause to stop by their house and see that he was lying. Zero possibility, he decided.
"Fumble!" The cry went up from everyone around them. Starsky, whose attention had been on the conversation, now saw that Hutch had himself curled around the ball, white team members swearing at him for having stolen their last chance at victory. "All right, Blintz!" he called.
The white team refused to yield the game, so both sides were lining up again.
"Uhmmmm, ummph," Pearson shook her head in admiration. "That partner of yours sure is a looker. It's too bad those good looks are wasted on you."
Her tone was friendly and teasing. But Starsky decided right then that he didn't like Cindy Pearson. Pointedly, he said, "I thought you lived with your boyfriend."
She turned to look at him. "Hey, this is the eighties. Women's lib is here, buster." Again, her tone was amiable but something in her voice scraped at Starsky's nerves. "I can damn well look if I want."
Starsky decided that they had a personality conflict and it would be pointless to pursue further conversation.
"Where did he get that name, anyway?" she asked him. He pretended not to hear, and she prodded, "Blintz? Short for Blond Blintz, right?"
Starsky's eyes were on the field. "It's a private joke," he answered firmly.
She said nothing more after that.
The game ended anticlimactically, with the red team running out the clock. As soon as the referee -- from Forensics -- blew the final whistle, someone loudly announced that the food was ready, and most of the hundreds of police, all dressed casually, headed for the barbecue pits.
Starsky waited where he was while Hutch approached, congratulating and receiving congratulations from various team members. The blond was still winded and sweaty to such a degree that his mustache was drooping, but his face was flushed and his eyes sparkled with the excitement of the afternoon.
"Hey, too bad you couldn't play," he said as he put an arm around Starsky's waist and squeezed. With the rest of the team, they turned to follow the crowd toward the food.
"You didn't need me," Starsky replied with enthusiasm. "You were great out there, partner." He looked at the others moving with them. "You were all great!"
The others grinned and made noises of appreciation.
Hutch's arm was still around him, and Starsky was surprised yet again that Hutch was so easygoing about demonstrating their feelings toward each other. Of course, the other was right in that they had behaved that way before they'd started sleeping together -- so there was no reason to change their public behavior -- but Starsky couldn't help but feel a little self-conscious, and found himself more intimidated by displays of their closeness than when their relationship had still been innocent.
But he overcame it long enough to reach up and squeeze his partner on the back of his neck.
"Yeah, he played pretty good for an old man!" one of the other officers said. In fact, it was Neil Richardson, who had played quarterback.
Hutch grunted good-naturedly. "You'll be damn lucky if you can still throw like that when you get to be my age."
The crowd dispersed as people began to get their food and sit on the grass or at the picnic tables. Dobey was one of those serving, and he grinned widely as he handed Hutch a paper plate with two cheeseburgers. "The game's Most Valuable Player!" he announced.
"It was a team effort," Hutch countered quickly, but there were more slaps on the back from those behind him.
When Starsky had his plate, the two looked around, then sat on the bench where Neil Richardson and his girlfriend, Sammy, was.
"That was a great game, guys," Sammy said.
"Yeah, it was a lot of fun." Hutch bit into his burger. He was still dripping perspiration and Starsky couldn't decide whether it would be more enjoyable with or without a shower when they returned home.
"You'll have to play next time, Starsky," Neil said. He was very young, maybe not even twenty-five.
Starsky nodded. "I'm looking forward to it. That's a hell of an arm you got, Neil."
"Used to play when I was in high school." He looked at his girlfriend. "Where's Zuka?"
"Probably begging for table scraps," she replied.
Starsky was about to ask who Zuka was when he saw a black labrador trot toward their table.
"That's a good boy," Neil greeted, petting him. Then he glanced up. "Excuse me. I think I'm going to say hello to the Crumbles." He moved away.
Hutch had already scarfed down his first burger. He put down his partially eaten second one and slapped his legs. "Here, Zuka, come 'ere."
Zuka stepped over to Hutch, tail wagging.
"Aw, that's a good boy," Hutch cooed, petting the dog's head. "You're a friendly dog, aren't ya? Or maybe you're just waiting for leftovers."
"Please don't feed him," Sammy said, taking out a cigarette. "We're trying to teach him not to beg."
"I won't," Hutch said without looking up. He was still petting the dog. "Just saying hello to a good boy. Such a good boy. Aren't you? Aren't you?"
Hutch's tone was so inviting that Zuka couldn't resist and jumped up on the long legs.
"Zuka, no!" Sammy scolded. "Down!"
Hutch pushed the dog back until he was sitting, then he petted his head some more. "Aw, you just want a little love, huh? Just a little love. What a good boy you are."
"I hate to be rude," Sammy said as she stood, "but Neil's waving me over."
"No problem," Starsky said.
"See you guys." Sammy trotted away and Zuka took off after her.
Hutch went back to his burger. "Hope it wasn't too boring for you watching from the sidelines."
"Naw, it was a great game." Starsky had turned back to his own food after having watched the interchange with the dog. Then, proudly, "You were terrific."
Hutch grunted, mouth full of hamburger.
Since they were alone at the table Starsky thought it as good a time as any to bring up something that had the possibility of being a sensitive subject. "You know, Hutch, your birthday's comin' up in a few days...."
The blond tilted his head. "Really?" he asked in that dryly sarcastic tone that grated on nerves.
Starsky made a face. "Listen, will you let me invite just a few people over for ice cream and cake? No surprise party, no gifts, no crowd. Just Huggy and the girls from next door?"
Hutch shrugged. "Why not?"
Starsky patted him as he stood. "Good. I'm going back for seconds. Want another?"
Hutch nodded with a grunt while devouring the final bite of his second burger.
* * *
"Ouch!" Hutch exclaimed.
Starsky made a final pass with the antiseptic spray, waving it in the air with a flourish. "That ought to do you."
Hutch was sitting naked on the bed after having showered, and a thorough inspection conducted by his partner had revealed various cuts and bruises from being the hero of the game.
The largest one was on his right knee, and Starsky now placed a square band-aid over it, smoothing the edges into place. "There, all done."
The blond grunted, reaching from his sitting position to the nightstand and pulling out a pair of clean underwear.
"Hey, what are you doing?" Starsky asked.
Hutch blinked. "What does it look like I'm doing?" He slipped a foot through the briefs.
"Hey, I had a nice, clean naked body on my bed."
The taller man stood and pulled the briefs up his legs. "Ah, Starsky, I'm too tired and sore to do anything. Why don't you beat off or something?"
Starsky frowned at the old joke. "I wasn't plannin' on you havin' to do anything. Just thought I might feast on all that nakedness. But," he sighed regretfully, reaching to turn off the bedside lamp, "if you don't wanna...."
Hutch pulled back the covers moved in between them. "Speaking of 'wanting to', don't think I didn't see you flirting with Cindy Pearson." He settled against the mattress.
Starsky was also settling between the sheets, and he growled, "Flirting, my ass. She and I don't exactly see eye to eye. Except...," he took back, shrugging at the recollection, "we both have the same taste in the scenery. I mean, she was makin' comments about how damn gorgeous you are." His tone turned slightly caustic. "And then she was sayin' how it was wasted on me. Boy, I could have told her a thing or two."
"I thought she had a boyfriend."
"She does!" Starsky exclaimed. "She even lives with him. But," his voice became sour and high-pitched as he mimicked, "'This is the eighties. This is the age of women's lib and I can look all I damn well please.'"
Hutch chuckled in the darkness. "Face it, partner. Equal rights are here to stay. May as well get used to it."
"Yeah, well, that doesn't give her a license to be a nosy bitch. She was askin' about us movin' in together."
Hutch's voice was more sober. "What did you tell her?"
"I said we got along okay because we have separate bathrooms."
That brought a hesitant laugh. "Did she believe you?"
"I don't know." Starsky sighed, hoping they weren't going to get into the same old discussion again, about how they were going to have to live a lie in their working lives. They seemed to discuss, reach an agreement, and then as soon as something uncomfortable happened -- or even the realization that, for example, they couldn't hold hands in a movie theater -- they would discuss it again and again. And nothing ever changed, because there were no real answers.
Hutch patted Starsky's hand beneath the covers. "It'll be all right."
"I know," Starsky said in a small voice. Then he rolled toward Hutch. Eventually he fell asleep with his cheek pressed against the blond's arm.
* * *
"Hap-py Birth-day, dear Hu-u-utch," the chorus of four climaxed, "Hap-py Birth-day toooooo... youuuuuu......" They all clapped and cheered.
In a baritone, Starsky added, "And many more....."
Grateful that the badly-tuned song was over, Hutch bent and dutifully blew out the 39 candles that covered the round cake.
There was more clapping and cheering.
"Did you make a wish?" Annette asked as Starsky turned the kitchen lights back on. She and her sister Toni, both also approaching middle age, lived in the house next door.
Hutch looked sheepish as he admitted, "Forgot."
"That's age creepin' up," Huggy said. "Memory goes first."
"Yeah, you'd know," Starsky teased. He handed a butcher knife across the table. "You do the honors, birthday boy."
"There's five of us, right?" Hutch clarified, trying to judge the proper size to make the slices.
"I just want a little piece," Toni said.
"She's on another diet," Annette groaned.
"Hey, no dieting allowed on the Blintz's special night," Starsky said.
"That's right," Hutch declared. He cut the cake into eight reasonably equal pieces.
"Hey, Starsky," Toni said, "how's your leg coming along?"
"Almost like new. " He took the lids off the containers of ice cream. "All right, everybody, we've got chocolate fudge and butter pecan. Take your pick."
Hutch held out the first plate, and Huggy took it from him and passed it to Annette. "Ladies first, even on the Blintz's special day."
"I'll take chocolate," Annette told Starsky, holding the plate out for the scoop of ice cream.
The phone rang while Starsky served a mound. He handed the scoop to Toni and licked his fingers. "I'll get it." Ignoring the kitchen phone, he moved to pick up the one in the bedroom.
"Starsky here," he answered.
There was a moment of silence, then a vaguely familiar female voice said, "David?"
"Let me talk to Kenneth."
The firmness of the tone left no doubt as to the caller's identity. Starsky realized he should have expected the call. He kept his own voice carefully neutral. "Well, he's having his ice cream and cake right now, but I think I can pull him away long enough to say 'hello'."
He put the receiver down and moved back to the kitchen. There were five plates filled with ice cream and cake, including one sitting on the table with the choice of chocolate.
"That's yours," Hutch told him.
Starsky picked it up and jerked a thumb toward the house's interior. "That's your mother," he said in as low a voice as possible without drawing attention. Huggy and the sisters were looking out the glass door at the backyard, but Toni turned in their direction just as the statement was made.
Hutch frowned and made a grumbling noise deep in his throat. He left his plate on the table and headed down the short hall.
Starsky sighed while picking at his ice cream with a spoon.
Toni slid next to him. "Not on the best of terms with his parents?" she ventured sympathetically.
Starsky shrugged, not wanting to make more of it than it was. "Well, he never was very close to them."
"And coupled with the current arrangement...," she speculated.
He managed a smile. "Yep. Ma and Pop not too crazy about the person that makes him happiest."
"That's too bad."
His smile broadened. Toni and Annette had never come right out and asked the question, but they had figured out the situation shortly after their new neighbors moved in. And they had been completely accepting. Starsky pointed out, "At least she called."
Toni tilted her head. "What about your parents? They're back in New York, right?"
Starsky watched as Huggy slid the door open so that he and Annette, involved in a conversation about the latest science fiction best seller, could walk out onto the little back patio. "My dad died when I was little. Mom was a little taken aback when I told her about me and Hutch, but she got over it fast." His heart swelled at the memory. "If you wanna know the truth, I think she's happier with me havin' Hutch than she would've been if I'd ever married a lady. At least, with Hutch, she can feel like she has two sons to fuss over from a distance and doesn't have a daughter-in-law to compete with."
Toni laughed. "Yeah, I imagine a lot of Moms feel that way about...," she shrugged, and Starsky knew she'd bitten her tongue just before saying "gay couples". They'd had a philosophical discussion about it a few weeks back, and Starsky had insisted that he didn't feel "gay", nor did he feel that Hutch was. Neither of them had ever had the slightest interest in other men. But when it came to joining with that one person who meant the most, they'd finally found themselves turning toward each other. That had been a year and a half ago. Sometimes Starsky wondered how they had gone so many years without consummating their feelings. Other times, he felt smothered in frustration that they couldn't behave in public like any other "normal" couple. Most of the time, though, he felt content. And had felt more of that since they'd purchased the house four months ago, for it had given them a greater sense of privacy.
Hutch appeared, not looking too worse for the conversation.
Toni slipped out the door to join the other guests.
"What did she say?" Starsky asked.
Hutch shrugged, opening the refrigerator and taking a beer. "She said, 'Happy Birthday. Next year you'll be forty. It's hard to believe. Your father says hello. Are you sick of your job yet? Are you and that David still getting along?'"
Starsky snorted into his own beer. "I'm still 'that David', huh?" Then he wondered, "What did you tell her?"
Hutch paused, as though gathering a precise answer. He leaned back against the refrigerator and crossed his arms. "I said, 'Thank you. Yes, I do know that. I can't believe it either. Tell Dad I said hi. The job is the same. I still love "that David" and have the strangest urge to keep fucking him senseless.'"
Starsky had been in the middle of a swallow, and he pulled his beer away in preparation to burst out laughing, but he wasn't fast enough and some of it went up his nasal cavity, stinging profusely.
He bent over, barely managed to swallow, then his eyes watered. "Sonofabitch! Damn, that hurts!"
After blinking back the tears and swallowing to make sure everything still worked properly, Starsky giggled and said, "You didn't really say that to her?"
Hutch shrugged, eyes glowing with mischief.
Starsky let him keep the secret. He loved it when Hutch was a little bit playful about anything. To him, it seemed the other had become grumpier and more cynical with each passing year. But also more mellow. More loving and tender, though even as long as ten years ago Starsky wouldn't have thought that possible; for Hutch, from the beginning, had been the most affectionate person Starsky had ever known.
The back door slid open. "Hey, you guys gonna just stand there and gaze at each other," Huggy asked, "or are you going to mind your manners and socialize with the rest of us?"
Starsky blinked and looked toward the speaker. He hadn't realized they'd been gazing at each other. He thought they'd stopped doing that six or eight months into their sexual relationship, when their frequency of love-making leveled out. They'd been worse than two teenagers when they had first started having sex. But once they'd tried everything either had any interest in doing, they found themselves settling into a schedule of once or twice a week. Perhaps, since getting the house, it was even less than that.
The honeymoon is definitely over, Starsky mused, and we're very much an old married couple. He was surprised to find that the thought brought a feeling of security more than remorse.
"Just getting a beer," Hutch said, indicating the bottle.
They followed Huggy out to the patio.
* * *
Three hours later, the guests gone, Starsky set the last dish into the drainer. As he began to wipe the counter, he heard Hutch making noises of amusement in the living area. The room was dark, save for the glow from the television set, where Johnny Carson could be heard doing his monologue.
"Who's on tonight?" Starsky called over his shoulder.
"Larry Hagman, Dick Cavett, and some author."
Not a particularly intriguing lineup. That meant the TV would probably go off before the first guest came out. Starsky wiped his hands on a dish cloth and moved to the living room. Pausing beside the couch, he opened his mouth to make the suggestion that they go to bed. But before he could get the words out, the phone rang.
Hutch looked up. "You getting that?"
"Yeah. I bet it's my mother." She hadn't called at all today, though Hutch had received a card in the mail from her. Starsky picked up the receiver in the kitchen. "Hello?"
"David dear, I didn't mean to call so late. But I got to watching a good movie on TV and -- "
"Mom, it's okay," he interjected quickly. "Hutch and I are both still up."
"Can I speak to Hutch? I'd like to wish him Happy Birthday."
"Sure." Starsky placed his hand over the receiver and raised his voice slightly. "It's your mother-in-law, blondie." It amused him to use the term, even if it wasn't legally accurate. "Get over here so she can wish you Happy Birthday."
Hutch could be heard sighing as he hauled himself up from the sofa. He dropped a beer bottle in the trash, then took the phone from Starsky.
The curly-haired man moved to the living room and shut off the TV.
"Yes, I did get your card today," Hutch spoke from the kitchen. "Thanks very much.... Yeah," he shifted uncomfortably, playing with the cord, "I know, next year it's the big four-oh. At least Starsky will hit it before I do, so it'll be easier for me.... What's that?.... Yeah, I know. Life begins at forty. Though, actually, I don't have any complaints about my life at 39, or 38.... Right, you're only as old as you feel...."
Starsky could hear the patience thinning in Hutch's tone. His mother, dear woman that she was, had that effect on people. He decided to rescue him. Overly-loud, he called, "Oh, look, Hutch, we've got some more visitors."
Hutch looked up at him, saw the ruse and made a face of disbelief as he held the phone away from his ear. Then he said into it, "Look, there's more well-wishers on the doorstep, so I gotta go. Thanks for calling.... Uh-huh.... Uh-huh.... Love you, too. Okay. Bye." He quickly hung up.
"Thought you might need rescuing," Starsky explained, straightening a stack of magazines on the coffee table.
"Yeah," Hutch agreed, coming back into the room. "When she gets going on something...." He trailed off as he came to stand before his partner.
"She was philosophizing about aging?" Starsky asked, straightening as Hutch's arms wrapped around his back.
The blond shrugged. "I don't know," he admitted softly. "I don't care." He ducked his head and a moment later Starsky felt soft, full lips press against his own.
"Mmmm," Starsky said, wanting it understood that he liked that. Hutch's touch -- lips and hands and arms -- felt so tender and warm.
They separated a few inches and Hutch asked, "Wanna fuck?"
"Mm," Starsky said, shaking his head with mock amazement, "you do have a way with words."
Hutch drew him close again, rubbed a hand along Starsky's shoulders, his other hand busy massaging along his lower back. Then warm, full lips skimmed along Starsky's jaw line. "Love you so much," the taller man whispered.
Starsky kissed the neck his lips were resting near. Then he softly said, "Do with me as you please. It's your party, after all."
When he looked up, full lips touched his once again, but the contact was light, and Hutch's tongue darted out. It circled around the perimeter of Starsky's mouth, tickling along his lips, then reversed direction.
When the tongue stopped, Starsky felt large hands grip his buttocks. Voice quiet and soft, Hutch suggested, "Why don't you freshen up while I try to decide what to do with you."
That action of the tongue, and the verbal suggestion, told Starsky exactly what Hutch had in mind. He felt the blood heat in his veins, warming his flesh, softening his heart and firming his groin. He tightened his arms around Hutch and kissed his chin. "You better have your mind made up when I come out, blondie," he threatened before turning toward the bathroom.
* * *
He emerged clean and dry, save for the slight dampness of his hair. The activity had done nothing to soothe his desire, for he knew Hutch was in the mood to do it long and slow. And it was going to include special favors, designed to make him crazy.
He crossed the hall to the dark bedroom, a towel in hand, and noted the outline of a long form beneath the covers. "You better not be asleep," he mock threatened. Feigned slumber was not outside Hutch's repertoire of humor.
"I'm not that old yet."
A thought struck Starsky just then. "How come," he asked while tossing the towel to one side, "people make a bigger thing out of your birthday than my birthday, even though I'm older?" He pulled the sheets back and crawled into bed.
There was a soft snort. "Starsk," Hutch said in a scolding tone, "you can't be serious."
"Yeah, I am serious. Why does everyone treat your birthday like such a big deal?"
The blond's tone was more subdued now. "Moron. It's because I've got lines under my eyes and a bald spot on the top of my head. I look older every year. You just look... mature. Closer to your prime. I'm way past mine."
Starsky blinked in the darkness as he settled beside his partner. Hutch's tone indicated that the answer to the question was obvious. And it scared him a little that the tone hadn't been one of fishing for compliments; Hutch had been sincere. Puzzled, he said, "What do you mean: way past your prime? You're only thirty-nine. It's not like you're even technically middle-aged yet."
"Ah, Starsk," Hutch said gently, "I can't fight my genes. My family has never aged very gracefully. We're all beautiful and handsome and gorgeous until we hit our mid-thirties. Then we lose our hair and everything we eat goes to our middle; and our face falls. The women in my family must hold a record for facelifts."
Starsky realized his mouth was open. He reasoned, "But that stuff happens to everybody."
He felt Hutch's hand lightly bat against his cheek. "Not to you," Hutch said with affection. "I've seen your relatives. The Starskys don't hit their prime until they're well into middle-age. And while the hair might go a little gray, it barely thins, and you all retain an incredible youthfulness in body and spirit. And I'll bet no one in your family has ever had a facelift."
Starsky thought about that. "Well, it's not the kind of thing they'd admit to, if they did." He was sorry he'd brought the subject up. He'd never noticed that Hutch's exterior was aging more rapidly than his own. Thankfully, Hutch seemed to accept it. But Starsky thought he should say something positive. His hand rested on the other's stomach, which had softened somewhat in the past few years, though Starsky had never attributed it to age; just less exercise and more beer. "I'm always gonna love you, Hutch."
"I know," the other replied gently, turning to face Starsky, and the latter loved the warmth that reached out in the small space between them. "It doesn't really matter, anyway," he added decisively. "I wouldn't ever let you go, even if you wanted to. You're stuck with me for life."
Starsky felt his heart expand and quicken. The words didn't make him feel trapped... just cherished. Firmly, he said, "That's just fine, because the same goes for me, too." Then he noted, "And I still think you're gorgeous. And so does Cindy Pearson."
"Well," Hutch said, now with a hint of humor, "that's Cindy Pearson's problem." He inched closer.
Starsky chuckled, "Sure is," just before lips softly touched his own.
But the contact was light only briefly, for Hutch rolled on top of Starsky, pressing their lips tighter together, and both their hands rubbed and petted along the opposite body.
When Hutch pulled back a little, he whispered, "I've been thinking about what I'm going to do with you."
"Oh, yeah?" The blood was rushing throughout his body once again.
"Yeah." The kiss deepened and Starsky thought he might start to rise from the bed, so light and carefree the warmth made him feel. And then, as Hutch released him and straightened, hands were placed on his ribs and his waist, turning him.
Being on his stomach always accelerated everything Starsky felt. For it meant that something was going to happen to him. Something sweet and pleasurable and intense.
Thumbs parted his buttocks, and he automatically spread his legs in invitation, then closed his eyes, waiting for the sensations to hit.
Soft wetness touched him first just below his waist, centered near the small of his back. The tongue licked at that area, then slowly traveled down. When it reached the very tip of his tailbone it stopped, and teeth gently nibbled there.
Starsky wrapped his arms around his pillow and checked his breathing. If he got too crazy too fast, then Hutch would get crazy and it would all be over sooner than necessary. He tried to accept the stimulation building in his prick, trying not to move, for that would only make it want more. Instead, he merely allowed himself a gasp as the tongue moved on, marking a trail down the seam that separated his buttocks. It paused partway to dance within the crevice, and then it continued.
As Starsky knew it would, the tongue bypassed the area where the thumbs grasped him, and took up once again at the lower part of his buttocks, slowly stroking and dancing along the area between his cheeks. His body shuddered and goosebumps broke out along his skin.
The tongue ignored the reaction and continued down to his balls. There it lapped widely at each mound. And then he felt a soft wetness enclose over the left one.
He gasped again, a brief cry escaping as the oval was sucked into Hutch's mouth. It was such an intense feeling that it was released almost immediately, and the seam separating his balls was licked. Then the right pouch received the same treatment.
Starsky groaned this time, his cock full and hard against the softness of the mattress. He felt Hutch shift a little, and then a very deliberate, pointed wetness touched his asshole. Starsky froze, trying not to react, for fear that any movement would force it from its task. The wetness licked firmly against the upper edge of the tight ring, then paused and danced about. Then it licked some more.
A quiver went up his spine and he pressed his face against the pillow his arms held, muffling the sounds of his pleasure. Then the tongue left, the mattress dipped and wobbled, and hands grasped Starsky's ankles and pulled him down toward the edge of the mattress. There, the hands shifted to the underside of his thighs, and pushed upward.
Starsky obeyed, allowing Hutch to lift him to his knees. The hands gently pressed outward, and he spread his legs a little wider, thereby lowering his buttocks. He knew Hutch was kneeling at the end of the bed, and he again gripped his pillow, which he'd dragged with him, knowing he was going to need it.
Thumbs parted him and he felt the tip of the pointed tongue again. It was moist and cool and circled around the rim of the opening. A quiver returned to his body, this time shooting out along his thighs, and he gasped yet again when the tongue reversed direction, mimicking what it had done when they kissed earlier.
And then it darted inside, thrusting firmly, and the goosebumps returned. His penis flared as it strained from his body, searching... and a whimper escaped his throat.
The tormentor withdrew back to the rim. And then there was a different feeling... a lighter, drier touch. When he felt the brush of hair against the inside of each buttock he knew that it was lips that touched him... lips that supported that thin strip of fur that he loved so.
Then the tongue went back to work, this time lapping at the outside, teasing into the center....
Starsky could hold back no longer. "Oh, God," he gasped. "Myprickhurtslikecrazy."
There was a pause, a kiss, and then the sensations left. Hands pushed upward on his thighs again, and he gratefully drew his legs closer together. And then allowed the hands to turn him.
He was lying on his back now, legs falling off the edge of the bed, cock jutting from his body. The light from the hallway reflected off the blond head at his crotch. He watched as Hutch straightened, then hunched his shoulders over. Then swallowed him.
Starsky cried out as wetness enclosed him and sucked him in. Hutch had become a master at this act, could literally suck the head of his prick down into his throat. And Starsky was held prisoner, unable to move except for thrashing his arms about and vocalizing his ecstasy. He did all that now, seeing no reason to hold back, and the sensations in his lower body rushed to meet at the center of his groin. And then all the combined fluids were shooting from him.
When he quieted, long moments later, the house was deathly silent. The mouth had released him at some point in the aftermath, and now he heard Hutch deliberately swallow.
Starsky groaned again. He was partially curled on his side and right now he didn't care if a pack of armed felons busted down the door. He was sated and without a care in the world.
The rocking of the bed preceded hands gripping him once again, this time gently beckoning him to crawl back toward the headboard. A square sofa pillow, favored for its firmness, was pressed against his groin. He allowed the hands to manipulate him, rolling him onto his stomach, the pillow beneath him. Eyes closed, he listened to the quiet sounds of drawers being opened and closed, indicating the gathering of supplies. It took only the touch of a fingertip to part his legs, allowing Hutch to settle between them.
There was more silence. Then Starsky felt a buttock pulled to one side, and then thick moisture touched his anus. He was stroked there a moment before the ointment was pushed in.
The orgasm had left him feeling like a bundle of mush, and he knew from the finger's easy penetration that it was going to be less uncomfortable than usual tonight. He had no wish to think, no wish to anticipate, no wish to force the proceedings. He just wanted Hutch to take what he wanted. And his voluntary powerlessness at the other's touch allowed the easy manipulation.
The finger was gliding around the interior of the muscle, spreading the gel, occasionally pulling at the flesh to stretch it. The digit paused, remaining inside while there was more application of the ointment -- squeezed directly from the tube, Starsky knew -- and a second finger prodded at the opening.
With almost detached fascination, Starsky waited for the feel of the second finger working its way in next to the first. Both were encouraged in deeper until he felt the knuckles pass through the bundle of nerves, and then they were spread like scissors. The knuckles bent back and forth, the fingertips exploring along opposite edges of the tract.
Starsky realized that the afterglow had almost completely left him. He felt lazy and unconcerned about what was coming, and wondered if they had enough practice at this that it was finally losing its edge of uncertainty. Despite all their many months of loving, Starsky doubted that Hutch had penetrated him more than a dozen times. It had been a Big Deal, made all the more so by his own personal fears, many of which -- even in retrospect -- he had difficulty putting into words. The first few times had been very difficult, leaving both wondering if they should even bother. But Hutch had never seemed to share his hang-ups about getting fucked, and when it was the blond on the bottom their love-making was truly an act of intimacy and an ultimate demonstration of everything they felt for each other. That fact made Starsky determined that he was going to reach the same level of competence -- both mental and physical -- at being in the submissive position, though he didn't argue that it was going to take a lot of patience on both their parts. It seemed to be better lately, as they went about it more as a segment of their sex play, rather than focusing so much attention on it as the main event. It had stopped being a primary topic of bedtime conversation months ago.
A third finger worked its way in. Hutch always made sure he could handle three before proceeding further. When the trio was fully inserted, they pushed deeper, and Starsky felt further stretching as they were bent, the knuckles pressing against his inner flesh. It didn't hurt. And he wasn't sure that it could be called uncomfortable, though it certainly didn't thrill him like it did Hutch when the tables were turned. Nor like it did him when Hutch had his tongue back there.
The fingers turned as a team, until they were horizontal, and then they spread apart from each other. That didn't hurt, either, but Starsky wriggled slightly from the peculiar sensation and a shiver raced up his spine. It caused an involuntary flexing of the muscle, and he felt himself tighten around the digits. When the muscle relaxed, they were all removed.
In the silence that followed, Starsky was aware of his own breathing, which was rapid. It wasn't fear, he realized, but anticipation. He had, over time, grown fond of the idea of Hutch filling him with that huge prick.
There was a soft wet noise, and then slightly harsher breathing that wasn't his own. Starsky knew that Hutch was trying to soothe his flesh as he lubricated it thoroughly. The blond was well-practiced at it, for he never rushed into this.
A hand was placed in the center of Starsky's back. As always, that small touch brought a warmth to his heart that he could not explain. When it was removed both hands gripped his buttocks, massaging into the flesh -- paying homage to their generous shape -- and one hand tried to force them apart, and the other, he knew, was bringing the powerful phallus into position.
It always paused a moment after touching him, as though to make him aware of its presence. Starsky didn't react. He maintained the lassitude he'd been experiencing all along, noting the way the muscle stretched out as the head pushed its way in. The first few times that initial thrust had forced tears through his tightly shut lids. Now he merely acknowledged its power as it parted him, noted the stretching of his flesh as it crawled deeper inside, pausing a moment to let him recover from each conquered centimeter.
He did not resist any of it, and had not the last few times. He wished that the value acceptance was something he had known in the beginning, because his will had contributed greatly to the discomfort both suffered as they blundered their way through this act, mixing a good deal of pain with the very best of intentions.
It had become a special little moment when he felt the wiry hair touch against his raised buttocks, felt the hanging pouch make contact with his own.
In the silence that followed the conquering of flesh, Starsky could hear Hutch's breathing. It had been harsh with the effort of his patience, but now that penetration was achieved, it was leveling out.
The hot body lowered to rest its weight more fully against Starsky's back. The darker man reveled in the closeness and security that he felt. It just now occurred to him that the feeling, provided by only this particular act, was something he was beginning to long for.
Warm breath whispered near his ear, its words carrying the exquisite tenderness that Hutch always used when he did this. "You took it real easy tonight." The baby-soft voice was full of gratitude and admiration.
Though his unconscious acquiescence hadn't been pre-planned, Starsky found himself with an answer. "Happy Birthday," he grinned back.
There was a slight shift, and then he felt Hutch's broad forehead rest against the area between his shoulder blades. And then he felt the mustache as Hutch kissed the skin there.
Hutch's long body hoisted onto his elbows. The bed rocked gently as the huge phallus pulled back a little, then pushed in. Pulled back... pushed in....
Starsky's prostate responded to the motion by sending messages along his nerves, hardening his groin. He enjoyed the feeling; but it, too, didn't cause the same level of ecstasy that it did his partner. It was more a compensation for the discomfort that was experienced at the same time.
Except the discomfort was missing this time. Starsky felt himself smile against the mattress, realizing he was downright enjoying having that huge cock take its pleasure from him, feeling its length and girth as it continued to pump, loving it that Hutch was getting his.
Hutch himself was starting to emit small gasps with each thrust. The thrusts were slowly becoming more powerful, pulling out more and pushing back in with gradually increasing strength. Starsky waited until Hutch pulled back yet again, and then he managed to bend his knees a little under Hutch's weight, raising his ass, so that when the heavy cylinder moved in, it penetrated deeper.
Starsky grunted under the heavy weight, but felt his penis harden further when a groan of increased satisfaction came from Hutch. His shoulders were gripped, and then the speed of the thrusting increased to a marked degree. The power of it forced his body to flatten out again, but Hutch was too far gone to notice. The depth and rhythm of the grunts quickened, and the blond's flanks began to slap sharply against Starsky's ass.
And then Hutch froze, gripping Starsky's shoulders, and a deep-throated growl emerged from him. And then his body shuddered and he made noises that were incoherent.
And then he went slack and collapsed on his side.
Starsky lay quietly for a moment, listening to the satisfying sound of Hutch's recovering breath. Then he gingerly shifted onto his own side and tossed the pillow to the floor. He decided not to fight the inevitable and got up to turn off the lights, lock up the house, and use the john. When he found his way back to bed, Hutch had straightened the covers and was beneath them.
Starsky joined him, and when he was settled they were facing each other. A hand reached out to Starsky's forehead, fingers pushing back through his hair. Tenderly, Hutch said, "It seemed a lot easier for you tonight."
"Guess it's starting to grow on me," Starsky told him, glad to do so. He knew that Hutch had certainly never relished the fact that his partner usually didn't get much enjoyment out of it. "In fact, I downright like having that huge prick of yours stuffed into me."
Starsky barely caught the small sigh of relief that emerged from the other man. With love and humor, Hutch said, "It certainly enjoys being 'stuffed' into you."
Starsky had the urge then to reach out, and he did. He petted back through Hutch's thinning hair, and then decided he wanted more. He scooted a little closer, took Hutch's chin with a pair of fingers, then leaned forward for a kiss. He pressed firmly, having always loved everything about Hutch's mouth, and let his hand wander to a shoulder, massaging along it. He was tempted to start something new, but there would always be other times; plus, he was sure Hutch wasn't up to it. Slowly, he pulled back.
Hutch whispered, "What was that for?"
Starsky's answer was the first thing that came to mind. "For loving me."
Now there was mock sarcasm in Hutch's tone as the blond shifted position in preparation to sleep. "Yeah, like I have a choice."
Starsky chuckled and turned on his other side. Like either of us do, he thought with satisfaction.