He knew someone was in his apartment before he even opened his eyes. He lay, staring into the dark, listening. Then he heard the refrigerator door open and he relaxed. It was just Starsky.
He had been a little surprised that Starsky hadn’t been here to welcome him home last night. Surprised and, if he were being really truthful, a little hurt as well.
Summoned to Idaho to give testimony in a drug smuggling case, Hutch had spent the last two days in a whirl of activity. His had been the initial catch that something not quite right was taking place and so the judge had wanted to hear from him.
“I could come with you,” Starsky suggested.
“I’ll only be gone a couple of days.”
And that had been the end of that.
On the way home from the airport last night Hutch had been so tired he had fallen asleep and had to be shaken awake by the cab driver.
Back in his own bed, he’d slept well and now he stretched out, enjoying the feel of his Egyptian cotton sheets, rather than the scratchy things the hotel had used.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.” Starsky smiled down at him. Hutch moved across the bed to make room for his partner.
He was drawn into an embrace, which didn’t last nearly long enough.
“Not being here last night.”
“It’s okay,” Hutch said, even though it hadn’t been.
“I wanted you to get a good night’s sleep.” Starsky looked worried. “You did sleep, didn’t you?”
Hutch stifled a yawn. “Like a baby. But it’s better now you’re here. Are you going to join me?”
“After breakfast.” Starsky stood up. “I’ve made pancakes, scrambled eggs, French toast. I knew you’d be hungry.”
“Starsk…” But Hutch didn’t get to finish his sentence because his rumbling tummy intervened.
Starsky was now perched on the edge of the bed and he looked at Hutch with a mixture of concern and love, enough to make Hutch’s heart ache.
“You never eat properly when you’re away. Let me feed you up. There’ll be plenty of time to make love afterwards.”
Hutch smiled. “Do I have time for a shower?”
“As long as you make it quick.” Starsky bent his head and kissed Hutch on the lips. “Shower, eat, and then I’ll show you just how much I’ve missed you.”