December 21, 1998
Hutch was watching the front of the building, hunkered down behind the bushes next to the solid wooden door of the building that he was staking out. He scrubbed his hands together. Damn, he was cold. The harsh chill in the air had permeated through his ski jacket and gloves. As for his feet, blocks of ice would feel warmer.
Where the hell was Starsky? He was supposed to be here by now. He’d disappeared over two hours ago, telling Hutch that he would see him at the house.
Well, Hutch was here. Had been for almost an hour, sitting in the most stupid place he could pick to hide in winter. Dammit, Starsk. Where are you? Hutch was fifty-five years old, too old to be spending longer than necessary skulking around in the foliage waiting for his errant partner.
Finally, the dulcet tones of the aging Torino split the silence. Damn Merle for keeping the tomato on the road. Every time it broke down, which was more frequently these days, Hutch hoped he would hear the magic words, “Can’t fix it this time.” But, even with his own advancing years, Merle always managed to coax more life into the thorn in Hutch’s side.
Hutch watched the carnival float that Starsky had driven for longer than he cared to remember speeding down the deserted road.
The car came to a halt with the usual screech as Starsky hit the brakes at the last minute, the bumper just inches away from the garage door. He climbed out of the car. Gone were the days when he jumped out almost before the car had stopped. Starsky walked up the two steps and unlocked the door. “Hutch, you home yet?” he shouted.
Hutch stayed hidden in the bushes. He was sure that Starsky had gone Christmas shopping, but he’d returned empty-handed. Maybe the bags were still in the car. Hutch didn’t get it. It was the twenty-first of December and he couldn’t find Starsky’s stash. Hutch usually had an idea how many presents Starsky had gotten him by now.
Hutch crept slowly away and walked around the block to where his car was parked. He drove the short distance back to his and Starsky’s house in two minutes. Whistling loudly, he pulled up behind the Torino. He opened the front door and walked into the large living area, taking an envelope out of his jacket pocket.
Starsky lay full length on the black leather couch that dominated the center of the room. He and Hutch had chosen the sofa for its long length and depth.
Hutch could stretch out on it without his feet hanging over one arm, and they could snuggle together easily side by side without fear of one of them rolling onto the floor. “Honey, I’m home,” he said jovially.
“Hey, babe. Where you been? I expected you to be here when I got home.” Starsky craned his neck and pouted his lips, meeting Hutch halfway as he bent over for a kiss. “I’ve been in for ages.”
Liar. Not that Hutch could say that without telling Starsky that he had been spying on his lover. “Oh, you know. Places to go, people to see,” Hutch said, using the old cliche that he knew bugged Starsky. He dropped the envelope onto Starsky’s chest. “Merry Christmas,” he said.
Walking into the kitchen, Hutch rummaged in the fridge. “Beer?” he asked, taking two bottles out before Starsky had even answered the question.
“Christmas isn’t for another four days. Don’t tell me that you’ve suddenly gotten into the Christmas spirit,” Starsky said incredulously. “After how many years?”
Refusing to rise to the bait, Hutch said, “Here I was thinking that you might actually want to open a present early.” He was surprised, and honestly a little hurt that Starsky wasn’t more excited about his offer. Apparently, it seemed that Hutch was the one who couldn’t wait to celebrate the holiday this year.
Starsky examined the sealed white envelope front and back. “I’m sure that I can wait another few days to find out that there’s yet another tree or some other part of this planet saved in my name.”
Hutch put the beers on the coffee table and sat down on the matching leather recliner chair. “Didn’t your mother teach you to be grateful for what you receive? You don’t know what it is yet.” He flicked Starsky’s ear.
“Ow.” Starsky rubbed the side of his head. “Okay, I’ll bite. Yes, she did. But then she didn’t have to put up with your weird idea of gift giving.”
“Starsky. Just shut up and open the damn envelope.” Hutch was feeling too grouchy after spending time behind the bushes to dance around Starsky’s logic and play the game.
Starsky slid his finger under the flap. “I name this tree in blah-blah rainforest, David Michael Starsky,” he sing-songed as he ripped it open. He pulled out the card inside.
Hutch held his breath. He’d spent more on this present than he’d ever spent on Starsky before. Of course, the present was for both of them.
“Bembridge Coast,” Starsky read. “Where is that? Not in the state of California, at least.”
Hutch grinned. “It’s not. It’s on the Isle of Wight, a small island off of the south coast of England, UK.” He recalled the first time he had heard of the place. He could still see his mother’s dreamy expression as she sat in front of him and his sister, Mary, telling them all about the wonderful honeymoon she and his father had had on this island. She’d loved the long history and romance of this paradise, as she’d called it.
Starsky stared at Hutch and turned the card over. “Ten forty-five p.m., December twenty-second. What does that mean?” He sat up and swung his legs around, putting his feet on the floor to face Hutch.
“That’s when our flight leaves for London Heathrow airport. We will be at the hotel in the picture by early evening on the twenty-third.” Hutch moved from the chair to the couch, sitting next to Starsky, thighs touching. “We have a week’s vacation, and Huggy’s cousin found this hotel for us.”
“Oh, no. Hutch, you didn’t?” Starsky looked Hutch in the eyes. “You know that when Tank books the vacation, things never go well.”
“Give me some credit. I’ve double checked everything.” Hutch counted off on his fingers. “The flights are booked, the hotel is booked, and I’m picking up the travelers checks at the bank tomorrow.”
“My passport.” Starsky jumped up, heading for the desk. “I think it’s out of date.”
Hutch smiled. “Don’t panic.” He grabbed Starsky’s wrist and yanked him onto his knee. “Checked. You have over a year left on your passport.” He kissed Starsky long and hard. “All you have to do, boy, is pack and leave everything else to me.” He nibbled on Starsky’s bottom lip. “Merry Christmas,” he said again.
“Hutch. You’d better not be putting me on,” Starsky said, looking at the picture again. “We’re seriously spending Christmas at that hotel, in England?” He looked like a kid who had been given all the candy he could eat, and more. “No trees, stars or charity donations? A bona fide present?”
“Yes.” Hutch frowned. “Am I really that bad at giving gifts?” He thought he had gotten better over the years, especially after Molly came into their lives. He still did his bit for the planet and charity, but he always tried to get Starsky at least one nice present.
“You need to ask that question?” Starsky wiggled his butt against Hutch’s groin. “Don’t worry, I still love ya.”
Hutch ignored Starsky’s jibes. He didn’t want to argue or analyze his faults this close to their vacation. “Principles aside, we are having an English Christmas this year. If you don’t want to go, I can always take Molly.” He put on a mock scowl. “I try to do something nice for the guy and all I get is mistrust.” He pushed Starsky off of his knee and onto the floor.
“Quit it,” Starsky yelled when he hit the floor. “Are you trying to kill me or just break my back?” Lying on his back, he looked up at Hutch. “Thank you. It’s the best present ever.” He dragged Hutch up off of the couch and to the bedroom.
December 23, 1998
Hutch didn’t know which way to look as the taxi drove up the long driveway to the hotel. The view to the left was the most amazing. A wide grassed area with some low lying shrubs bordered a bright blue sea. He guessed that the land dropped away at the edge of the grass because he couldn’t see a beach. A couple walking their dog completed the picturesque scene.
“I can’t believe that we’re here,” Starsky enthused. He’d talked the whole way from the airport, on the bus, the hovercraft and now in the taxi. “Tank sure came through this time.” He squeezed Hutch’s thigh, brushing Hutch’s groin with his thumb.
Hutch gasped when the taxi turned and he got his first view of the hotel. The picture postcard he’d seen was a mere shadow of the real thing. The place was huge. He couldn’t even start to describe the gardens. Flat lawns as far as the eye could see. Symmetrical flowerbeds cut into the perfectly manicured grass, packed with a variety of plants. Neat bushes shaped into cones and circles.
Palm trees! He hadn’t expected to see Palm trees in England. A tall white wall with a pagoda entrance surrounded a formal garden. The wall and the pagoda was topped with green tiles. It looked Mediterranean in style. He could see rectangular ponds with stone ornaments through one of the arches in the pagoda. Even with the contradiction in styles, it all seemed so typically English.
The taxi circled around the back of the building and pulled up outside double doors marked Reception. “That’ll be eighteen pounds, mate,” the driver said over his shoulder.
Hutch sorted through the different sized bills and handed the driver a twenty. “Keep the change,” he said, wondering if he was insulting the man or not. He hadn’t been able to find anyone back home who could give him much information about the way tipping worked in England.
Starsky opened the taxi door. He’d spent most of the journey with his face plastered against the glass window. He stepped out and stretched his arms above his head. Circling around the back of the car, he opened Hutch’s door. “How big is this place?” he asked in a loud whisper.
“Cheers, mate,” the driver said, pocketing the money and getting out of the car. He opened the trunk and unloaded their bags. “Have a good holiday and a Merry Christmas,” he said, getting back into his cab.
“Thanks!” Starsky called, waving at the departing cab.
Hutch picked up two of the bags and walked through the automatic doors into the large white painted foyer. Large green plants in dark wooden planters graced the space.
Starsky grabbed the remaining bags and trailed behind Hutch.
Hutch approached the check-in desk which was at the other end of the foyer.
“Good evening, sir,” said the tall blonde behind the desk. “My name is Gemma. How can I help you?” Her smile radiated friendliness.
Starsky dumped his bags onto the floor.
Hutch could still appreciate a pretty girl, even if they didn’t hold the same appeal for him anymore. And he adored her accent. “Hi,” he said. “Ken Hutchinson and David Starsky. We have a room booked.”
She tapped the names into her computer. “Here you are. Royale room number five.” She put two cards and pens onto the desktop. “If you could fill in these guest cards while I prepare your keys. Would you like one or two keys?”
“Two, please,” Starsky said from behind Hutch.
“The porter will take your luggage,” she said, handing the keys to the boy who magically appeared at Hutch’s elbow.
The uniformed porter loaded the bags onto a luggage cart. “Gentlemen, if you would care to follow me,” he said, heading for a hallway to the right of the foyer.
Hutch tried to memorize all the twists and turns on the way to their room. Starsky was right, Tank really had surpassed himself this time. The glimpses of the gardens and sea view that he kept getting through the windows took his breath away. He deeply regretted not having paid the extra for a sea view. But he had assumed that they would be spending a lot of time out of the hotel, or in their room enjoying other activities!
Starsky grabbed Hutch’s arm. “This is the best place we’ve ever been to.”
“Wait until you see the room,” Hutch whispered. As they’d gotten older, there had been fewer camping trips and hotels had become the norm. They had been to some very good ones, both at home and abroad.
The porter stopped a few feet in front of them and inserted the key into a door slot. He held open the door. “After you, sirs.”
Starsky almost pushed Hutch over in his haste to get through the door first.
The porter unloaded the cart and pushed it back into the hallway. “Your keys,” he said, handing both keys to Hutch because Starsky was too busy prowling the chamber.
Hutch dug into his pocket and gave the boy a five pound bill. Hutch noted that porter’s name tag read Lloyd.
“Thank you, sir. Have a nice time.”
Hutch turned and surveyed the room. It was even more stunning than the picture he had seen. The furniture was all dark wood. The huge four poster bed dominated the space. Its blue, red and white plaid canopy and drapes were even richer, more sumptuous than he’d imagined. He particularly liked the brown leather chairs with their buttoned backs. Chairs like that made him think of English gentlemen and smoking jackets. The chairs were at an angle, separated by a small round coffee table. The simple two tone, striped beige walls with dark chair rail complemented the masculine decor.
Starsky checked out the en-suite bathroom. “There’s a spa bath in here, Hutch. Big enough for both of us together.” He walked back into the room. “I thought the room would have twin beds. The girl didn’t seem to care that two guys were sharing. Do you think that’s the British reserve they talk about?”
“Could be. Or maybe they just don’t care.” Hutch said, sitting on the bed. He held out his arms. “Come here.”
December 24, 1998
Starsky flopped back onto the bed. “Oh, God. I am stuffed.” He rubbed his stomach. “Don’t think I’m gonna be able to move for a while.”
Hutch sat in one of the comfortable leather chairs. “No one asked you to work your way though the cold buffet as well as the hot food. How many times did you fill up your plate while you were waiting for your breakfast to be cooked?” He put his head on the chair back and closed his eyes. His own belly was aching with the amount of food he’d eaten. It was hard to abstain when everything looked so appetizing. Although, he’d never admit that to Starsky.
“Not my fault. Who can resist chocolate croissants and muffins?” Starsky propped himself up on his elbows. “And what about that breakfast! I had to try everything, the bacon, sausages, black pudding, fried bread and all the rest,” he said happily. “And the hash browns, which incidentally are nothing like Cora makes at her place.”
Hutch snickered. “I was there. I ate them too.” He looked fondly at Starsky. “It’s England. The food is bound to be different.”
God, he loved Starsky’s enthusiasm. It never failed to amaze him that through all the bad things they’d seen and done in their lives, Starsky managed to embrace the simple things in the world. Over the years, because of Starsky’s influence, Hutch had lightened up considerably. He almost wished that he hadn’t made plans. All he wanted to do was lay next to Starsky and cuddle up for the rest of the day. A soak in that tub and leisurely love making seemed more attractive than running all over the island.
“It’s Christmas Eve,” Starsky said, as if he’d just realized what the date it was. “What do you want to do?” He grabbed the brown leather hotel folder from the nightstand and opened it. “Have you seen this list of activities?” He looked at Hutch. “Jeez. I’m tired just looking at that. I think billiards, darts or the steam room are more our thing.”
“None of the above,” Hutch said. “I asked the woman at the reception desk to call us a taxi for eleven a.m. It’s almost eleven now. I’ve got a surprise for you.”
“Babe, you’re spoiling me. This is more than enough.” Starsky lay back on the mattress and sighed. “It’s getting lonely on this big bed.”
Hutch walked across the room and slid onto the bed next to Starsky. “Better than a tree?” he asked seriously, snaking his arm around Starsky’s waist.
“I won’t even answer that one,” Starsky said, mounting Hutch. Pinning Hutch’s arms above his head, Starsky sat directly on Hutch’s groin.
“Starsk,” Hutch struggled to talk. “You’re going to make me throw up if you bounce on my stomach again.”
“So Mr. Moderation pigged out at breakfast, huh?” Starsky said, deliberately wiggling on Hutch’s belly.
“Starsk, don’t,” Hutch pleaded, torn between wanting more and trying to keep his food from making a re-appearance. He bucked his hips in an attempt to dislodge Starsky.
“Not gonna work. I know your moves too well, blondie,” Starsky crowed, grinding his genitals harder into Hutch’s midriff. He bent over and bit Hutch’s right nipple through his shirt.
Hutch groaned. He was losing this battle, and truthfully he didn’t care. The telephone shrilled in his ear.
Starsky somehow grasped both of Hutch’s wrists in one hand and answered the phone with the other. “‘Lo,” he growled, listening for a short time.
This was Hutch’s chance to escape Starsky’s ministrations. He decided not to take it. He liked Starsky dominating him and taking what he wanted when he wanted it.
“Thanks. We’ll be down in a minute.” Starsky slammed the receiver back onto the cradle. “Damn.” He licked Hutch’s lips. “Taxi’s here. Bad timing.”
In less than ten minutes, the taxi pulled onto a small airfield on the outskirts of Bembridge.
Hutch took care of the fare. Before they left Bay City, Hutch had told Starsky that he was paying for everything on this trip. He was proud of the fact that Starsky was respecting his wishes. He knew it was hard for Starsky to go along with this–he generally contributed something to the kitty.
What Starsky didn’t know was that for every practical present Hutch had ever bought him, Hutch had put the equivalent amount of money into an account, planning that he would do something special for Starsky at some future date. When Huggy showed him the brochure for Tank’s new venture into the English tourist market, Hutch knew that time had come.
A helicopter sat in the middle of the airfield, its rotors whirling slowly. Other than the pilot, Starsky and Hutch, and the now departing taxi, the place was deserted. Even the bar, The Propeller Inn, at the entrance to the field looked closed.
Hutch gripped the sleeve of Starsky’s brown leather jacket. “I think that’s our ride,” he said, dragging Starsky across the grass to the helicopter. He stopped just short of the twirling blades.
Starsky stared, open mouthed, at the bird. “We’re going up in that? Why?” His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed deeply. “I dunno. You know I don’t like heights.”
Hutch guffawed. “It’s no different to a plane. You love looking out of the window when you fly. In this, you can see everything.”
The pilot slid out of his seat and walked toward Starsky and Hutch. Holding out his hand, he said, “Hi, I’m Danny, your pilot for today.”
Hutch took his hand. “Hi. I’m Ken, this is Dave.” He inclined his head toward Starsky.
Danny shook Starsky’s hand also. “The trip takes approximately one hour. You are lucky. It’s a nice, calm day for this time of year. Don’t normally fly tourists this late in the season.” He ducked down under the rotors and opened the back door. “Keep your heads down.”
Ducking low, Starsky and Hutch followed Danny’s lead, and climbed into the cabin.
Danny returned to his seat. “Belt up. The harnesses are easy to put on. They must be kept buckled at all times.” He kicked the machine into life. “Put the headphones on, hold tight and enjoy the ride,” he said.
Hutch settled back in his seat, tugging the straps over his shoulders and securing them to the buckle on the lap belt.
He could see Starsky in his peripheral vision doing the same thing.
The helicopter rose smoothly into the air, flying over countryside and the windmill that Hutch had seen on the hillside overlooking the airport. The only working windmill on the island according to the recorded guided tour he could hear through the headphones. He hadn’t really noticed how much open space there was during the cab ride yesterday. Up in the air, the view was amazing. There was sea to one side of him and fields to the other. The villages they’d driven through were smaller than he had first thought.
Starsky prodded Hutch’s arm, pointing at his ear when Hutch turned to him.
Hutch pulled the pad away from his ear.
“How many boats are out on the water? Didn’t think there’d be many around on Christmas Eve.” Starsky inclined his head over to his right.
The water was littered with the brightly colored sails. A few container ships cut through the throng. The small boats navigated around the monsters bearing down on them.
Danny took the chopper along the coastline. The scenery changed constantly. In some parts, buildings bordered the beach, in others, the buildings sat on white cliff tops, and large expanses were just cliffs and nothing else except empty land. Each town clustered around a small bay and in some cases, harbors full of boats. From this vantage point, the whole island didn’t seem as big as all of Bay City.
Starsky prodded Hutch again. “Those must be the white cliffs that people talk about when they mention England,” he shouted.
Hutch had left the pad slightly to one side of his ear. It was obviously that Starsky was going to keep talking throughout the flight. He rolled his eyes. “You mean the White Cliffs of Dover. They’re over there somewhere, on the mainland,” Hutch shouted back, flinging his arm to his left and rapping his knuckles on the window.
Starsky guffawed. “Did that hurt?” His eyes sparkled, the laughter reaching the depths of those dark pools.
“No,” Hutch said truthfully, although he felt a little stupid for being so clumsy.
Starsky grabbed Hutch’s hand. “Let me kiss it better,” he said in Hutch’s ear. He grazed his lips across Hutch’s knuckles.
Hutch yanked his hand away, glancing at Danny. Could he see what was happening? Hutch was so used to hiding their relationship that Starsky’s rare, but usually mistimed displays of public affection rattled him. “Just behave, will you?” He rubbed his knuckles with his other hand, more to relish in the contact of Starsky’s lips than anything else. He desperately wanted to kiss Starsky right now, to feel his lover’s softness on his mouth.
“Osborne House,” the recorded tour guide said into the headphones, “the favorite summer residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.”
The words permeated Hutch’s brain and brought him out of his reverie. He looked down on the impressive villa and its formal gardens.
Starsky run his hand along Hutch’s leg.
This time, Hutch didn’t stop him. He figured that Danny couldn’t see what was happening directly behind him, and Hutch was starting to feel too horny to care. His frustration at their thwarted session this morning was still burning in his groin.
The helicopter circled a formation of pointed rocks. “This geological outcropping is called The Needles,” the tour guide voice said, going on to describe that nearby was The Battery, a fortification used to defend Southern Britain during the two World Wars.
Danny made a smooth turn reset their course inland.
Hutch held his breath, trying to concentrate on the commentary and the view rather than on Starsky’s fingers that were playing his inner thigh like a violin.
Starsky casually brushed his fingers across Hutch’s scrotum.
Hutch exhaled quickly, shocked at the electricity that fizzed through him from the contact. It didn’t feel like there were two layers of fabric between his skin and Starsky’s. God, oh, god. Just when he thought he couldn’t stand it any longer, Starsky moved his hand.
“I could live there.” Starsky pointed to a castle beneath them. “Carisbrooke, I think this guy said it was called.” Starsky pointed to the headphones.
Hutch silently mourned the removal of Starsky’s hand. He vaguely recalled the names of the places that had been fed into his ears, but wasn’t at all sure which was which. He could probably recognize Osborne House, but that was it. He’d stared at the passing landscape and buildings in a haze of sexual desire, thanks to his partner’s roving hand.
“We are now approaching Culver Cliff, on which sits Bembridge Fort,” the tour guide continued. “And the end of your island helicopter experience. We hope that your trip was a pleasant one, and that you enjoy your stay on the Isle of Wight.”
Danny set the helicopter down with as much finesse as when he had taken off. He clicked off various switches, took off his headphones and harness. He opened the door and climbed out, ducking his head until he had cleared the rotor blades.
Hutch unbuckled his harness, and followed Danny across the grass with Starsky hot on his heels.
Danny turned to face Starsky and Hutch. “I hope that was to your satisfaction. You certainly picked the best day we’ve had all winter.”
“Amazing,” Starsky enthused. “Wasn’t it, Hutch?”
“Yes. It sure is a beautiful place.” Hutch dug into the inside pocket of his leather jacket, pulling out his wallet. He extracted a twenty pound bill and handed it to Danny.
“You already paid, man,” Danny said, looking at the money in Hutch’s hand.
“I know.” The hotel had arranged the tour for Hutch and added it to his bill, which he had paid in advance. He pushed the cash into Danny’s hand. “It’s a small thank you for a wonderful tour. A Christmas present, if you prefer.”
Danny took the bill. “Thank you. And a Merry Christmas to you both. The pub should be open if you fancy a drink.” He pointed to the building at the entrance to the airfield. “If not, they can get you a taxi back to the hotel, or wherever you want to go. If you want to walk, take that road over there.” He pointed to an opening in the trees beyond the airport perimeter. “Follow the signpost for Forelands, and then Warners. There are no pavements, so make sure that you walk on the right hand side of the road, into the oncoming traffic.” With a wave, he headed back to the helicopter.
“Walk or drink?” Starsky asked, resting his hand on Hutch’s shoulder.
“I’d like to walk, I think.”
December 25, 1998
“Rise and shine, it’s Christmas morning,” Starsky shouted in Hutch’s ear.
“Huh?” Hutch almost hit the top of the four poster bed in shock. “Bloody hell, Starsk.” Hutch roared, his heart beating out a military tattoo in his chest.
“Bloody hell. How terribly English,” Starsky mocked in the worst English accent Hutch had ever heard.
Hutch felt something tickling his torso. He looked down to find his naked body covered in thin silver strands. His erection rose between the strands like a lighthouse rising out of the sea. Light sparkled on the metallic strands when he breathed.
“Don’t move,” Starsky instructed, laughing. “Don’t want to get tinsel in the bed.”
“I think it’s a bit late for that, buddy,” Hutch said, trying not to laugh or encourage Starsky in any way. “What time is it?”
“Seven twenty-eight. Time for Christmas presents.” Starsky bounced on the bed. “Me or you first?” he asked, straight-faced.
Hutch closed his eyes. Did Starsky seriously expect more presents? Maybe he should have bought a little something for Starsky to unwrap. “This is your present,” Hutch gestured around the room. “Sorry, I didn’t think…”
Starsky put his finger against Hutch’s lips. “I’m just messing with you. Of course, I don’t expect anything else. Although, this is as much your present as it is mine.”
Hutch searched Starsky’s face for some hint that he was still putting him on. He hadn’t thought about it that way. Not quite true, he had, but he’d decided that Starsky wouldn’t mind. After all, he doubted Starsky would have come alone.
“Sometimes, you are just too easy.” Starsky shook his head. “I wouldn’t have this Christmas any other way. And I appreciate how much this must have cost you. What’d you do, rob a bank?”
“Nope.” Hutch shook his head. “I’ve been saving money in the Starsky fund for years.”
“Starsky fund?” Starsky looked confused. “What am I, a charity?” He walked over to the mini bar and took out two small green bottles. Opening one, he handed it to Hutch.
“Bucks Fizz,” Hutch said, reading the label. “This early?” He took a sip from the bottle anyway. Who cared what time it was? “I had it in mind that, one day, I would give you the gift of a lifetime. I just had to figure out what that was. This trip is it.”
Starsky nodded, taking a gulp of his own drink. “It’s that, alright. You devious…”
Hutch shut Starsky up with a kiss, depositing silver strands on the bed, floor and Starsky. He forced his tongue between Starsky’s unyielding teeth, exploring every inch of his mouth. Leaning his weight against Starsky, he pushed.
Starsky resisted Hutch’s pressure. “Present first,” he said, twisting out of Hutch’s grip and rummaging in the bottom drawer of the nightstand. He handed Hutch a long, red velvet box tied with a white satin ribbon and bow.
Hutch pulled gently at a loose end of the ribbon. The bow unraveled smoothly. He separated the lid from the base of the box. Inside were two silver military style dog tags, each tag had its own ball chain. One was engraved with an S and set with a green gem. Hutch knew that was a Peridot stone, it matched the ring on his pinky finger that Starsky had bought him for his fiftieth birthday. The other was engraved with an H and set with a pale blue stone. The rope work around the edge of the tags was exquisite. He glanced at Starsky. “They are beautiful.”
“White gold. The blue stone is Aquamarine, my birthstone.” Starsky stroked the jewelry that was still in the box. “It’s a two-fer present. The S with your birthstone for me to wear. And the H with my birthstone for you to wear. So that we’ll always be together, even when we’re in totally different places.”
Hutch felt a lump rising in his throat. “For a guy who doesn’t do soapy, you sure as hell know how to move a person to tears.” He wiped his moist eyes with the back of his hand.
“Must be the romantic setting.” Starsky brushed a finger across his own eyes.
Hutch knew that Starsky must have had the pendants made in Bay City. He hadn’t been out of Hutch’s sight since they left home. That’s why Starsky kept disappearing and coming back empty handed. Or apparently empty handed.
“Know what I’m looking forward to next?” Starsky said, plucking the H from the box and fastening it around Hutch’s neck.
“What?” Hutch asked, returning the favor by putting the S around Starsky’s neck.
“A traditional English Christmas dinner.” He opened the folder and handed it to Hutch. “Just look at that menu. Sounds exactly like what we had at Thanksgiving.”
Hutch parted the edges of Starsky’s blue bathrobe and swatted his belly. “Do you ever think of anything but food?” He looked at the menu that Starsky handed him. Butter roasted breast of turkey, bacon rolls, cranberry sauce, sage and onion stuffing. It did sound good. “There’s a typo here, dressing is re, not er.”
“Trust you to spot the one mistake,” Starsky said amiably. He snatched the menu from Hutch and slammed the folder onto the nightstand. “For your information, yes, I do think about something other than my stomach. I’m thinking right now about skipping breakfast and having my wicked way with you. Work up an appetite for later.” He swiped the remaining tinsel off of Hutch’s body. “I suggest a nice, long, hot, spa bath. A rub down with a thick white towel. You bending over the back of that chair.” Starsky pointed to the chair that Hutch always sat in, the one nearest to the bathroom. “I am gonna plunder your ass so hard that you won’t remember what day it is.”
Hutch’s erection throbbed as Starsky’s words sunk into his brain, his nerve endings and his gut. Every muscle twitched at the thought of Starsky’s hands all over his body. His butt clenched at the memory of how it felt to have Starsky buried to the balls in his anus. God, Hutch was going to come just thinking about it. “Promises, promises,” he rasped, barely able to breathe.
“Reality, pal. I never say anything I don’t mean.” Starsky grabbed Hutch’s penis, pinching the base between his thumb and finger. “Move, now,” he said, yanking at Hutch’s hard-on.
Hutch stood up gingerly, taking small, quick steps to keep up with Starsky. It wasn’t the pain of Starsky tugging him by his family jewels that made Hutch follow so eagerly; he liked pain mixed in with his sex. It was the fact that the pumping movement of their differing steps was getting Hutch very hot under the collar.
Hutch spotted the postcards that he’d written for Dobey and Huggy on the chest of drawers next to the bathroom door. Need to take them down to the reception desk when we go for lunch. The image of Huggy and Dobey in his head diminished his passion enough so that he wasn’t about to shot his load anytime soon.
Click on link to take the helicopter tour