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"I can't believe," said Starsky, beginning yet again, "that after I took you through that toy store twice—"
"Three times," said Hutch.
"No, the first time was for Lisa's present. We didn't look at the caboose then."
"We certainly did look at the caboose then."
"Whoa," said Perkowitz. "Guys, if you're not bored with it, I am."
She was sitting between Hutch and Starsky on the front seat of the Torino as they drove away from the Ramos' little house, after a simply enormous dinner. Molly was settled there with Kiko and his mother, and had surprised and touched both detectives by giving them shy kisses goodbye. She'd eyed the Child Protective Services woman warily and not approached, but Perkowitz gave her a good-natured pat on the shoulder anyway.
Now, in the car, the adults were relaxing, and Starsky was griping.
"This guy—" he gestured widely as they sat at a red light— "doesn't have any idea what to do at Christmas."
"Oh, I don't know," Hutch said. He moved his arm, which he'd stretched along the back of the seat, until it lay warm across Perkowitz's shoulders and his hand cupped Starsky's neck. Massaged it, slowly, nape to skull and down, and again. "I have an idea, and I think it's a pretty good one."
The whites of Starsky's eyes flashed, but he didn't speak for a moment. Then what he did say was "Uh, Hutch," but the corners of his mouth twitched.
"Perkowitz is a swinging kind of girl," Hutch went on in his slightly raspy, warm-brandy voice. "Isn't she? Aren't you, Perkowitz? Wendy?" His head bent toward her; his voice rasped lower: "Want to play with the Lost Boys tonight, Wendy?"
She shivered, once, but so sharply that both men felt it. Hutch sat up and Starsky took her hand.
"Perky, just say no if you want to," Starsky told her.
"That wasn't a no," she said. Both men relaxed again. They'd each dated her separately, each had sex with her. But that was really no precedent.
"Okay, then," Starsky said, and wheeled the Torino in a U-turn. "My place?"
"There's a mirror above the bed," Hutch explained.
"Of course," she said, "there would be."
Hutch went on, now to Starsky, "Also mistletoe, no doubt."
"And a real tree, and I set up the train, and . . . well." Starsky grinned. "Enough of that."
"More than enough."
"I got more than enough of everything, blondie, and don't you forget it."
"Guys," Wendy said again. "This isn't gonna get all competitive, is it?"
Neither answered right away. Then, "No," Hutch said, ". . . and yes. You know how we are."
"I don't know how you are with this," she said matter-of-factly.
Starsky picked up her hand and kissed it as he drove. The second time, he put his tongue between her fingers, and when gooseflesh rose under Hutch's hand where he'd worked it into the sleeve of her blouse, he stroked again, but not to soothe. Starsky lowered their hands, fingers still entwined, to her leg. "We're worse," he said, and though his eyes never left the road he seemed to know that Hutch had moved his light touch to her neck, and then her cheek. "We're wilder when we fuck together." He pulled her hand around the curve of her leg, and Hutch turned her head and kissed her.
"Oh," she said when they stopped, "all right then." Her eyes were cloudy.
But Hutch wasn't finished explaining. "This is just for fun, sweet Wendy. If it's not fun, we'll stop. We're trusting you a lot—you need to trust us."
She swallowed, and visibly pulled herself together. "You can trust me," she said. "I don't exactly want this to get back to my employers either. Stewardesses can have exciting sex lives, but not social workers . . . ."
"Later for politics," Hutch purred into her ear.
"Yes," she said. Leaned into the touch. "Yes."
After a moment she sat up again, straight, and said to Starsky, "Does it have to be your place?"
"It's farther to Hutch's. 'Less you mean yours?"
"No . . . I mean someplace without a mirror. This is . . . unusual enough already."
Starsky glanced at her, then at Hutch. "What d'ya say?"
"I say, what the lady wants, she gets," Hutch said.
Starsky sighed, and changed lanes, so he could take the left turn at the next light. "Any other ideas, while I'm changing course here? Pick up some pizza, walk on the beach? Perky?"
"No," she said. Reached for him, smoothed back the hair around his ear, fingers trailing around it. "Okay?"
"Oh, yeah, okay," he said, tilting his head toward her.
Hutch bent closer to whisper into her ear. She leaned her head onto the seat back, her eyes sliding half-closed, head turned a little in Starsky's direction.
"Hutch?" asked Starsky. "What're you up to?"
"Telling me—" said Perkowitz, but Hutch interrupted.
"What am I up to? Oh, I think you'll have to get to my place before you can find out what I'm up to."
Starsky's hand skimmed over Perkowitz's legs and grabbed Hutch's denim-covered thigh, then moved up it. Hutch, laughing now, picked up the hand and held it off.
"Drive! Starsky! Just drive!"
But while this was going on, Perkowitz had wriggled closer to Starsky, half turned on the seat, and snaked an arm around his waist. "Need a seat belt?"
"You into restraints?" he asked. "I had no idea. Hutch, you corrupt this nice girl?"
"If I was," she said, "I'd cuff your hands to the wheel until you were done driving. Concentrate. I'll tell you what he said."
"Mutually exclusive," Hutch muttered.
But his hands made encouraging circles on her back and hips while she murmured into Starsky's ear. ". . . and he said, watch his hand on the shift. How it tightens . . . he said to try this . . ." and the tips of her fingers ran up his calf, past his knee, paused. Then started again, as far down his shin as she could reach, up to the knee, a little dip around it, then paused again.
"Damn," said Starsky, voice hoarse. "Perkowitz—"
"Getting ready to bah a few humbugs?" she asked.
"I'm—" he cleared his throat, then said with more of his usual jauntiness, "I'm always ready to bah a few humbugs."
"And run a few lights," added Hutch, "and break a few speed limits."
"Babe, if I'm impatient, whose fault is it?" Starsky took a corner. The light had been green but the tires did squeal a little. "Now, Perkowitz my sweetheart, why not go tease Hutch a little so we don't end up—" he took a breath as she touched his thigh again— "wrapped around a light post."
"He's very susceptible, isn't he?" she asked Hutch. "I hardly played with him at all."
He pulled her onto his lap and nuzzled her neck as the car slowed down. "You're a very good cock-tease," he said, and the tone made it a compliment. "I didn't know."
"You didn't, huh?" asked Starsky.
"He thought he was teaching me," said Perkowitz, sounding abruptly like the professional doing her job while they flirted with her.
Hutch held her shoulders, and she grinned down at him.
"I'm going to learn better, aren't I?" he asked, acting apprehensive.
She smiled even more widely, tracing light patterns on his throat where his sweat jacket was a little open. Then she found the zipper's little tongue, lowered it another inch or so, and dipped her fingers in. He just looked at her, and she squirmed her hips a little, and then he swallowed.
"You asked for it," said Starsky. "Right between the eyes."
Perkowitz leaned forward and kissed Hutch there, between the fair brows, then a little lower on the bridge of his nose.
"I love," Hutch said, "how you take suggestions."
"I can give them too," she said, and this time she was the one murmuring in his ear, head lightly bumping the passenger window as they went over seams in the concrete.
Starsky kept glancing over at them so often that Hutch finally said, "Your idea, buddy, so get over it. You'll get a turn."
"Oh, yeah, I'll get more than one," Starsky said. He patted Perkowitz's leg, and then reached up and feathered through the hair just below Hutch's part. "She'll wear you out, babe. Before we even get there, looks like."
Hutch laughed and turned his face to kiss the woman. His fair hair was scarcely shorter than her reddish-brown. Starsky, unable to reach the soft tangle of dark and light, gripped his partner's arm. "This'll be beautiful," he said, then put his hand back on the wheel. "Beautiful."
The other two felt the surge of acceleration. "I think," said Perkowitz, untangling herself, "I'd better not tease either of you any more. Until we get there."
And the rest of the ride was fairly sedate. Just a little petting, or groping; a little more joking. A lot more anticipation.
Hutch led the way up the Venice Place staircase, his long legs skipping every other stair, sometimes two. Starsky followed almost as fast, and Perkowitz ran behind, trying to keep up, at first, then stopped half-way up. "Wearing me out?" she panted.
Starsky grinned over his shoulder. Hutch, now on the top landing, reaching over the door for the key, smiled down. "Not yet," he said.
He paused with the key cupped in his hand, and Starsky, standing behind him, grabbed both shoulders and shook him, almost getting a faceful of sweat-jacket hood in the process. "C'mon," he muttered, "she'll catch up."
Hutch reached around and slapped his flank. "My place, my party," he said.
"I'll remember that," Starsky grumbled, but when Perkowitz reached the top of the stairs, he was the one who swept her into a hug, then a dip, and kissed the quick breath from her mouth.
She was laughing when he raised his head. "Isn't," she said, "isn't there—some sort of law—about public places?"
He lifted her to her feet again. By this time, Hutch had opened the door and was inside, standing in front of a miniature Christmas tree with his hands on his hips but half a smile on his face.
Starsky pulled her inside with an arm around her waist, closing the door with the other. "Dipping is perfectly legal in public."
"Jacket, Starsk," Hutch said, and Starsky let her go to take his leather jacket off, while the blond stepped behind Perkowitz to peel hers off her shoulders. And kiss her neck. He held out the blue cloth coat to his partner to hang up while his other arm went around the woman's waist and pulled her tightly to him. "Should we do the date thing a little? Sit on the sofa, play some Christmas carols? Don't want you to think this is just sex."
"It isn't?" she said, still nearly laughing.
Starsky was in front of her now, stepping in until his body lay against hers as she lay against Hutch. "Nah. We like you." Bracing his hands just above Hutch's arm, he kissed her lips while his partner still mouthed her neck. Then looked deeply into her dark-amber eyes with his navy ones.
"Forget the Christmas carols," she said, putting her arms around his neck and leaning back. "Sex."
"Okay. Listen," Starsky told her. "Since this was all Hutch's big idea, don't you think he should undress first?" He never even looked up at his partner, but Hutch began to chuckle and the vibration traveled through all three bodies.
"Can we go into the bedroom, at least?" he said, and then Starsky did look up, his face full of mischief.
"Oh sure, soon's we can let this delicious little thing go. Around New Year's?" and he smiled down at her again, wagging his hips back and forth a little.
"Right now," she said, spinning to one side, and they stepped away as she'd known they would. Then she stretched out her hands, and each man took one, and they walked companionably around the furniture to the alcove where Hutch's bed was.
"Okay, blanco, sit down right there," and Starsky gave his partner a push. Then he dropped down to take off Hutch's shoes while Perkowitz kicked off her own heels and knelt on the bed.
She unzipped the black sweat-jacket in earnest, now, slipping her other hand inside, fingers a little chill against the warm smooth chest. Folded back each side—Hutch braced both hands behind him—and now she was stroking him from neck to waist, toying with his silver necklace and tickling round his ribs.
"Do his nipples," Starsky said, holding the two big, bare feet in his lap.
So she did, and Hutch let his head fall back while the small fingertips and then the soft lips and small white teeth played from one little nub of nerves to the other. Starsky pulled his partner's legs apart and she shifted a little to make room. For a moment he just looked at the bulge under the light denim, then stroked firmly up the insides of both legs from ankles to groin.
Hutch grunted, his teeth locked together.
"Oh no," Starsky said, "don't get stoic," and pushed aside Perkowitz's hand where she was circling Hutch's navel. Interlacing their fingers, Starsky leaned in and licked where she had been touching, covered the navel with his open mouth, and Hutch bucked up with his hips.
Perkowitz sat back and watched, then let go Starsky's hand, slid around behind Hutch, and pulled the material down his arms. She pushed him up into a sitting position, and got the sleeves off his hands as Starsky pulled him to his feet to undo and pull down his jeans.
"Starsk—" said the blond, sounding helpless.
"You thought you'd run this, didn'tcha?" Starsky grinned.
Hutch reached out and grabbed the velour of Starsky's top, pulling it ruthlessly up. All the squirming his partner could do just made the top slip farther over his head.
Now, with just his dark curls showing and his arms raised, he couldn't resist anything the other two chose to do; Perkowitz shared a grin with Hutch as she darted around them and pinched one armpit, then the other, then palmed the flexing muscles of Starsky's back.
"'Do his nipples,'" quoted Hutch in a growl, and grabbed the bare torso, pulled it closer, latched onto one dark aureole with his mouth while Perkowitz had mercy and pulled off the confining velour. One arm dropped around the blond head; the other hand reached back for her, clenching in the loose silk of her sleeve.
"Hutch—" Starsky gasped.
"Let go," said Perkowitz, who was trying to reach around and undo Starsky's belt buckle.
"Hutch! This girl has all her clothes on!" Starsky finally ground out.
Hutch raised his head. "Right. Gotta do something about that."
Starsky turned and they both reached for her. "Oh, guys, be gentle," she said, fending them off, only half joking. "Let me—at least let me take my jewelry off."
Hutch, naked except for his necklace, looked at Starsky. "Do we ever take our jewelry off?"
"We have less of it. Look at all those chains."
"And the earrings," she said, unclipping them. Then keeping them in one palm, she unfastened the necklace that lay outside her blouse, and then turned to look for somewhere to put them. Hutch caught her hand and took the things out of it, then kissed the palm as he handed them to Starsky, who was nearer the bedside table. She retrieved her hand and reached inside her collar to get the other necklaces undone. The first clasp between her fingers was a spring-hook, and she couldn't get it.
"Here," said Starsky, going around her to help, and Hutch began to unbutton her blouse. She shut her eyes. Starsky didn't mind tickling the nape of her neck and ruffling her hair as he undid clasps and slowly drew the necklaces around her throat; Hutch played with her skin between buttons. Kissed above her bra and then below it. Reached where the blouse was tucked into her slacks and just kept undoing buckles, zipper, buttons.
She was wearing bikini briefs, and when he opened her slacks and pulled out the tails of her blouse, her navel and some inches of bare skin were exposed. He tongued around and into her navel as Starsky had done to his, sucked, bit gently. She arched her back and Starsky was there to take her weight, nibble her ear and then use his tongue there too, and she was licked within an inch of her life with everything but her shoes still on. "Guys . . ." she said faintly, squirming. Starsky was cupping her breasts, kneading them. Hutch was squeezing her thighs in what seemed the same rhythm. Her knees were giving. "Oh god."
Hutch sat back on his heels and unbuttoned both cuffs; he took down her slacks while Starsky pulled the blouse off, kissing her shoulders as they were bared. Then he unhooked her bra and Hutch took it off.
Between the earlier play and the cooler air, her own aureoles were already tight; now Starsky circled them with callused fingertips and Hutch knelt up and kissed between them, down to the soft skin of her belly, big hands petting around, over, under her briefs. The warm fingers and palms sliding over her buttocks were amazing; the two layers of cloth between the backs of his hands and Starsky's thighs rubbed together with tiny hitches of nylon on denim like sparks.
Starsky, now the most dressed of the three, shifted and got one leg between hers, hooking her foot to one side with a jolt and bracing his knee against Hutch. He hoisted her up a little with both arms around her waist, then dropped her an inch or so, and at the impact she clamped her thighs around his. He said, "Like that?" and did it again. Hutch's hands were now on her hip and on Starsky's, holding firmly. His eyes were intent but his body still.
Her dazed look cleared, and she settled her weight on her own feet again, shifting forward to reach for Hutch's hair. Then she bent, and he rose into her kiss until he was standing and her head dropped back, his hand cupping her throat, Starsky holding them both. Hutch raised his head and looked at his partner. "Bed." As they separated, Hutch swatted Starsky again, on the rear this time. "Get those off, huh?"
"Myself?" he protested, but peeled them down in a second, and Perkowitz lost the briefs and knee-high stockings as well. Hutch threw his sweat jacket behind him somewhere and pulled the pillows out from under the spread.
Then for a moment they just looked at each other. Three people need more arranging than two; no one seemed to have a plan ready.
Then Starsky said, "Who's on first?" He clambered on, turned on his back, and pulled a pillow under his head.
They were both looking at him, and he smirked a little, stretched his solid, dark-furred torso, moved his hips. Put one hand where a touch would do most good, stroked from the base to the tip as a hint. His cock hardened further in his grasp.
"What do you want, Wendy?" asked Hutch, eyes still on Starsky.
She looked from one man to the other, hesitating. She looked like she didn't know at all what she wanted.
"Perky," said Starsky. He held out his hand to her. "Sweetheart, come here."
Her lips slowly curved, her eyes lit, and she went to him. He put one hand around the back of her neck and drew her head down, slowly, kissed her as gently as if they were both children. Then, as the kiss deepened, as her tongue slipped into his mouth, he let go and moved both hands around to the small breasts that fit so perfectly in his palms, pressing them, stroking them, pulling the nipples, twisting a little.
Then the bed rocked and the warmth and presence of another body was over them. Hutch put one hand in his partner's hair and petted all along Perkowitz's body with the other, starting at the shoulder, curving around her ribs, circling on her hip. His mouth was busy too, in her hair, on her neck, to about halfway down her spine. His thumb stroked in Starsky's ear. He murmured, "So beautiful, both of you . . . Wendy, is this it? This good?" His hand on her ass, holding, stroking.
Then he moved his hand farther, brushed along the crack of her ass, farther in, to finger the wet folds and crisp hair. She lurched forward, lifted her head, cried out inarticulately. He circled around that sensitive skin, dipped in the opening, kneeling up behind her while Starsky looked into her eyes, rubbed her front, played more with her breasts. Hutch lifted one of her legs. She dropped her head, stared through the tunnel of their bodies and then seemed to understand, moving willingly until she was on hands and knees above Starsky, and Hutch knelt behind her. He crouched a little and entered her; the crown of his cock seemed even larger in this position. Starsky reached under her hips to feel where they were joined, then along the fleshy lips to find her clit, swollen too and hot and tight. He stroked, milked, and pinched it as he had done with her nipples. As Hutch pumped, his legs and ankles rubbed slightly against his partner's legs, and Starsky stretched his neck to its full length to taste the sweat on the woman's jaw and throat and shoulder.
Hutch's hands had moved from her hips around to her thighs, and then one reached farther to brush fingertips along Starsky's rigid cock. It thrust up almost of its own accord, while Starsky groaned at the light friction. Perkowitz hung her head, arched her back, and Hutch grabbed her hips again and pumped harder. Shifting her weight, she grasped Starsky's cock firmly in one hand while leaning on the other. He propped up her shoulders from underneath and she smiled at him, and they all moved together for some time. The bed rocked so under their combined weight, creaked so loud, that Hutch looked anxiously at the headboard as it banged against the wall, but then bent again to mouth Perkowitz's spine in between thrusts.
Starsky writhed and jerked his hips upward, and Hutch worked more and more wildly, faster. Then he stilled, in deep, flat against Perkowitz's back and hands braced on the bed. His eyes opened—met Starsky's. Then with a cry he came.
He eased back, taking deep breaths, and the other two moved into more relaxed positions, though neither had orgasmed. Hutch sat back on his heels, pulling out of Perkowitz, and kissed the small of her back, stroked her ass again. "Now, what about you two?"
"Want me in you?" Starsky asked her. "Wear us both out?"
"Oh yes." The sweat still dripped down her skin, and she was still trembling with excitement that hadn't built far enough. Glancing back to see that Hutch had backed off, she knelt up, straddled Starsky farther up his body—he realized what she had in mind and pulled his cock into position as she lowered herself onto it. He bent his knees to give her a little more support, and she slid up and down, moved side to side, pleasing herself but still not finding the edge that would cut her free. Then Starsky, impatient, rolled both of them over, got his knees under him and began to work. Hutch knelt behind him and kneaded his shoulders, kissed the nape of his neck, murmured in his ear—evidently something incendiary because Starsky went from steady to frantic much faster than Hutch had. Her eyes blazing, Perkowitz watched them, moved with Starsky, heard the husky music of Hutch's voice, and teased her own breasts. Hutch moved around, one hand warm on Starsky's back but his mouth sudden and hot on Perkowitz's belly, and his tongue in her navel set her off finally, jerking and jittering with pleasure, her teeth clenched. Starsky, who had arched his back, leaned forward again until Hutch's head pressed against him, and with that silk against his skin and the woman's wet grip around him, came too.
Perkowitz lay still, trembling, and Hutch sat up unsteadily to put his arm around Starsky, who seemed to collapse against his friend. "Pillows," said Hutch, and pulled one from the corner of the bed, passed it to Starsky, then pushed at the one Starsky had used before, the corner under Perkowitz's head.
"Babe, we're soaked—we need to get under," said Starsky, picking at the spread, and this was so obviously good sense that they only wasted a moment in dismay before they got up off the bed to pull down the covers. Perkowitz found another pillow on the floor, too, so they all had one. They got back in, a tangle of limbs, and nudged each other around until they were tolerably comfortable. Hutch was in the middle now; everyone seemed to be touching; it was gloriously warm in no time.
"Merry Christmas," said Hutch suddenly, and Perkowitz began to laugh.
"Is this your version of euphoric sentimentalism?" asked Starsky while she giggled.
"Sure," Hutch said. "No commercialism . . . don't have to wrap it . . . shop for it . . . ." he yawned.
"And," added Starsky triumphantly, as if it were not a non-sequitur, "you can still get me the caboose for my birthday."
Hutch rolled up on his elbow and tried to smother Starsky with the pillow, while Perkowitz held on to the spread and pounded indiscriminately on shoulders and heads. "Guys! Guys! Cut it out!"
At last they subsided. "You are worse together," she said sternly. "Now give it a rest."
"To all a good night," said Starsky, muffled because his face was turned into the pillow.
Hutch smiled and tousled the wild hair, said "God bless us every one," softly.
Perkowitz shook her head and lay down. She wondered what the two of them might think up after they gave it a—hopefully short!—rest. She thought about it while the men fell asleep.