This story is part of a group of stories known loosely as the "Talk Dirty" series.  Begun by Glow with the sexy, funny "Talk Dirty To Me" and continued in Flamingo's sequel, "Talk Dirty To Me Some More" (both in the zine The Fix #17),  the tradition continues with this collaboration, "Talkin' Dirty Pool" which was originally published in the terrific zine Cold Pizza and Butterfly Bones.  We are lucky enough to be able to present this story just as it appeared in the zine, complete with its great graphics! 

        There is another "Talk Dirty" story on the Archive, Flamingo's "Just Another One of Starsky's Dirty Moves."  More stories are planned in the series, assuming that Glow and Flamingo can force themselves to get serious about this very funny topic!  Comments can be sent to: who will happily forward them to her partner-in-sexy-mirth, Glow.


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Stroke another one down, right behind my back...
Shootin’ dirty pool, spewin’ dirty lies...
Get your money on the table. Get your head out of your ass...
I ain’t a notch on nobody’s belt...
    Shooting Dirty Pool — The Replacements

The game was bein’ better
Wiser than you
Half an inch taller
A deeper shade of blue
Or thinkin’ that I loved you
More than you loved me
  Games — Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


        "You told Huggy we’d do what?" Hutch asked after nearly choking on his beer.

       Starsky held up his hands placatingly. "It’s no big deal, Hutch. Don’t go makin’ a federal case out of it. Huggy’s got an emergency. He’s gotta leave in five minutes. I figured we still owed him one since–"

       Hutch nodded quickly, the wildly erotic image still fresh in his mind even after two weeks. He felt the warmth color his fair cheeks as he hastily agreed. "Sure, we owe him. But Starsk–"

       "Huggy says it’s not hard. He knows we can handle it. So I told him ‘no problem.’ You’re not gonna make a liar outta me, are ya?" Starsky punctuated his sentence with one of his patented how-could-you-say-no-to-eyes-this-blue looks.

       "But we don’t know anything about running a bar!" Hutch hissed, deliberately ignoring the appeal of the expression that got him into more hot water than any police radio ever did.

       "We don’t hafta run the place," Starsky corrected in a patronizing tone that was obviously intended to pacify him. "We just hafta close it up! How hard can that be?" He held up his hands in a questioning gesture, just as Huggy came up behind him and plunked a set of keys in one of his upturned palms.

       "I really appreciate this, fellas," Huggy said, slipping one arm into a chartreuse jacket that seared Hutch’s eyeballs. "If I don’t get over to Wilshire, my beer distributor’s gonna sell my next delivery right out from under me. I don’t even want to think about this mob bein’ beerless, even for just one night."

       "Hug, we–" Hutch barely began the appeal before his words were drowned out by Huggy’s long stream of muttering as he checked his pockets for car keys and wallet.

       "Just ’cause that lame excuse for a businessman had a shipment go bad on him, he thinks he can stiff the smaller merchants, particularly yours truly. Oh sure, I understand he’s still bitter about the fact that his old lady dumped him for one of his customers, but hey, is that my fault? I mean sure, I made a few passes at the lady—ah man, she was fine—but that’s as far as I went. I don’t go playin’ in another guy’s playground—well, at least not when that other guy is my chief supplier of beer–"

       "Huggy!" Hutch tried, more emphatically. This time, he actually managed to cut off the rambling story—not that it did him any good.

       "Oh jeez, Hutch, you’re right. I need to stop running my mouth and get my tail out of here."

       Hutch took a deep breath, wanting to make one last attempt to voice his protest, but Huggy’s mouth was already back in gear.

       "Just make sure all the dishes get done and the kitchen gets cleaned before the staff leaves. You leave that mess in there overnight, and the only customers I’ll have tomorrow is the entire roach population of Los Angeles." Huggy took two steps toward the door as he continued his instructions. "And make sure all the chairs are set up on the tables so’s my cousin can clean in the morning. Count up the receipts, put ’em in the bankbag, then put the bag in the safe. I’ll deposit it in the morning. Lock up the register, the back door and the front door, and then you can go home. It only takes about an hour to do everything. I really appreciate this, guys."

       "You’re just lucky we’re off tomorrow," Starsky said, smiling.

       "You can help yourself to anything in the kitchen," Huggy told Hutch, then turned in his partner’s direction. "But try not to eat me outta house and business will ya, Starsky?"

       Hutch’s lover tried the innocent look on Huggy, but it went nowhere. Hutch wished he could be so blithely immune to that look, but he knew that battle had been lost years ago. In one last- ditch attempt to get out of this, Hutch tried another tack.

       "You know, Huggy, you might want to rethink this. I mean, I’d hate to see you regret this decision."

       "Having the two most honest cops in L.A. close up my shop?" Huggy laughed. "Not only are you both the poster boys for true-blue-ism and fair play among your kith and kin, but," he narrowed his eyes and smiled slyly, his voice dropping to a more discrete tone, "ever since you two became well and truly partners in every sense of the word, I don’t even hafta worry about you annoying my female employees!"

       The bartender stared pointedly at Starsky, who appeared to have discovered a potentially disastrous flaw in one of his shirt sleeves.

       Huggy’s voice reverted to normal as he concluded, "Nope! There isn’t anyone else I could trust with my business and my bucks but you two. Besides," brown eyes narrowed, "you owe me." His gaze returned pointedly to Starsky. "After contaminating my phone by performing lewd and lascivious sexual acts upon it, and trying to give my place a bad name like some kind of–"

       "Yeah, yeah, I know," Starsky waved his hand, trying hard to dismiss the topic that Huggy always enjoyed taunting him with.

       "Just reminding you. This is a family establishment, Detective Starsky. I’ll trust that with your erstwhile partner safely back at home and in your bed every night, your rampaging libido is now under control."

       "Just barely," Hutch quipped in a voice only Starsky and Huggy could hear.

       His flustered partner turned a brilliant shade of red, while the bartender smiled and nodded knowingly.

       "Don’t know how you manage to live with him, Hutchinson," Huggy empathized as he turned towards the door.

       "I wonder that myself at times," Hutch said, smiling into Starsky’s eyes. His annoyed partner shot him a nasty look, which only made Hutch chuckle.

       Huggy headed towards the door. "Well, I better get moving, fellas. Thanks again for your help." He pulled the door open with a determined yank. He was halfway through it when he turned back and called out, "Hey, Starsky!"

       "Yeah," the cop responded without enthusiasm.

       A long, dark, pointed finger poked emphatically in his direction. "Stay off my phone!" With that, Huggy left.

       The curly-haired detective shot a warning glance at Hutch, anticipating the reaction the blond was trying futilely to suppress. Hutch managed to turn his head around before the smirk grew into full-fledged laughter.

       "I’m glad you and Huggy continue to be so amused by this," Starsky said, gritting his teeth irritably. "I mean, you would think it woulda gotten old by now, but no. You both find just as much entertainment value today as you did two weeks ago. I am soooo glad I’m able to keep you both so jolly."

       Starsky slammed Huggy’s keys down on the bar and brushed passed his partner, pushing off Hutch’s hand as the cop reached out to try to snag his arm.

       "Come on, Starsk, lighten up," Hutch called out to the retreating back, but Starsky marched towards the back room without pausing. Hutch shook his head as he tried to get his laughter under control. He knew Starsky was still very touchy about this subject—the macho detective chagrined by the fact that he’d creamed his jeans in a public place just from talking dirty to Hutch on the phone—yet Hutch couldn’t help but smile whenever he thought about it. It was by far one of his most pleasant memories.

       Hutch reached down and picked up the huge wad of keys. His memories of that wonderful night with his partner had distracted him temporarily from the reality that they were still stuck closing up this bar. He should be the one mad and storming off. After all, this wasn’t exactly what he had planned for tonight—a nice, long evening before a day off.

       Hutch shoved the keys into his pocket and moved behind the bar to pour himself a beer. No sense grousing about it. Thanks to Starsky, they were stuck with this tedious task. Hutch shrugged as he took a sip of the cold brew. Maybe it was for the best. Starsky was too ticked off for Hutch to have much hope for a better finish to the evening, anyway.


       Hutch looked up from the Space Invaders game that he had been playing for the past hour. The bar was nearly empty, only two drunken patrons remaining. Glancing at his watch, he wondered how upset Huggy would be if they closed the place an hour early. After all, it was costing more in electricity than Huggy was making off the two winos who should have been cut off hours ago.

       Hutch stood up, eyes scanning for Starsky. Besides the winos, the only other people in the room were Hilda, the barmaid, and Rhonda, the waitress, both of whom were sitting on stools at the end of the bar cracking gum and talking to each other.

       Hutch walked into the kitchen and was surprised to find it empty. Two large sinks were filled to capacity with a mountainous assortment of greasy, food-encrusted dishes. The grill was off, but the amount of grease and grit on it was staggering. With a sinking feeling, Hutch moved determinedly towards the back room, shoving open the door. Starsky sat lounging behind Huggy’s desk, chair leaning back on two legs, Adidas-clad feet propped up on scattered papers strewn across the desk. In his hand was a dog-eared, yellowed comic book. Clearly surprised by his lover’s abrupt entrance, Starsky peered wide-eyed over the well-worn pages.

       "Where the hell is the kitchen staff?" Hutch asked worriedly.

       "Huh?" Blue orbs blinked in confusion, Starsky’s keen investigator’s mind obviously still caught up by the profound complexities of the Kryptonite handcuffs that were featured on the cover imprisoning Superman’s Arms Of Steel.

       "The kitchen is empty," Hutch said emphatically. "Where is everybody?"

       "Oh, that," Starsky responded, shrugging with a total lack of concern. "They’ll be back."

       "Back!? Back from where?" The blond felt his temperature rising.

       "Well, Raoul got a phone call. There was some kind of emergency at his house. He needed to go home and straighten it out, only he didn’t have a car. So Mike was gonna drive him. They’re gonna come right back."

       "Really?" Hutch sputtered, incredulous. "And just when are they coming back?"

       "Well, they should be back by–" Starsky glanced at his watch, did a double take, then began to pale. His mouth made a few ineffectual movements before he remembered, "They, um—they said it would only take 15 minutes. I guess it’s taking a bit longer."

       "And this surprises you? And where the hell are Louie and Pedro? Did they need to go along too, in case Mike got lost?"

       "No," Starsky replied as though insulted that Hutch thought him to be that stupid. But as he reviewed the situation, his color became more waxen, and his self-righteous glare soon faded. He mumbled almost incoherently, "They, um, they had to go to the store. Said we were out of burger buns."

       "Buns? Starsk, it’s nearly one a.m. Where the hell did you think they were going? The all-night bun factory?"

       The comic book fell out of Starsky’s grasp as he raised his hands up in a placating gesture. "Calm down, Hutch. This is nothing to pop a blood vessel over."

       "You don’t think so, huh? Well, maybe you should get off your ass and go take a good, long look in that kitchen." Hutch grabbed Starsky by the ankle and pushed both legs roughly off the desk. The motion threw off Starsky’s balance and his chair fell forward with a thud. "Just who the hell do you think is going to clean up that mess in there? You can bet it’s not going to be me!"

       Starsky fumbled to stand, still a bit wobbly from the abrupt jarring of his body. "Listen, Hutch, take it easy. They’re gonna be back. They know they have to clean up the kitchen. They do it every night. Why would this night be any different?" He was talking fast—a sure sign that they were in trouble.

       Hutch took a long, slow breath. He moved up right beside his partner, his hard glare burning straight into blue eyes that were trying desperately to look anywhere else. When he spoke, it was with a deliberate, measured tone that dripped with condescension and sarcasm.

       "Starsk, let me ask you something. When you were in school, did you ever have a day when your teacher wasn’t there and they had to call in a substitute?"

       "Sure," Starsky answered, unconsciously taking a step back.

       "And on those days," Hutch continued, moving forward into Starsky’s personal space, "did you do everything exactly the way you always did when the regular teacher was there, or was there a little...deviance from the norm? You know, maybe taking a little advantage of the fact that the substitute was never as astute as your regular teacher?"

       Hutch could see the Adam’s apple bob in Starsky’s throat as he swallowed hard. Hutch took another step toward him, which brought them nose to nose. Hutch wondered what would happen if he finally strangled his exasperating lover after all these years. Would he go to prison or would the jury consider it justified?

       "Okay, okay, you may have a point," Starsky admitted as he placed the flat of his palms on Hutch’s chest, easing him back. "But I can fix this. No problem. I’ll just go through Huggy’s records here—find their phone numbers—find where they are—and get them the hell back here. Just stay calm, Hutch. This is no big deal."

       Starsky ducked around him and headed back towards the desk before Hutch could respond. He rummaged through a pile of papers as words continued to fall from his mouth in a ceaseless stream of mollifying optimism.

       "No need to get upset. I’ll just find those phone numbers in a jiffy and everything will be fine. Those guys just probably wanted to have a little fun with me, but I’m on to them now. I’m gonna chew them all new buttholes when I find them, that’s for sure. But there’s no reason for you to worry about this, Hutch. As a matter of fact, why don’t you go back to the bar, relax, and have a beer. I’ll have this straightened out in no time. Okay?"

       Hutch just glared at his partner, knowing the look on his face needed no words to be understood. Maybe Starsky was right. He had better get out of here before he did something he would regret—at least he thought he might regret it. At the moment, he wasn’t sure.

       Silently, he returned to the bar, leaving his partner frantically leafing through the chaotic pile of papers. For once, Starsky’s right. This is his problem. And that’s what I’m going to do, relax, drink a beer, and let him solve it. But when he returned to the front, he noticed immediately that the two winos had gone, leaving the bar empty—except for the two serving women who were shrugging into their jackets.

       "Hey, what’s going on?" Hutch asked suspiciously, fearing he already knew the answer.

       "This place is dead," Rhonda responded. "We figured you were gonna close up early. That’s what Huggy always does on nights like this."

       "Yeah," Hilda agreed. "We just figured we’d take off."

       "Well you just figured wrong," Hutch snapped. "You’ll stay until your shift is over. Is that clear?"

       The women exchanged glances then shrugged. They were staring at Hutch with barely concealed amusement.

       "Sure, whatever," Hilda answered laconically.

       With that, they both sat down on the bar stools nearest them and proceeded to stare at Hutch. Rhonda yawned.

       "I didn’t mean just sit there," Hutch fumed, his anger increasing by the second. "I meant work."

       "Work?" Rhonda laughed as she gestured with her hand at the empty room. "My job is to wait tables. You see anyone around here waiting for service?"

       "And my job is to serve drinks," Hilda chimed in with an annoying giggle. "Unless you’re thirsty, I don’t see that I have that much to do."

       "Well, instead of just sitting here collecting a salary for your witty powers of observation, ladies, perhaps you wouldn’t mind helping us clean up." Hutch’s tone was stern, his demeanor indicating he was in no mood for foolishness—which was why he was completely thrown by the hysterical burst of laughter that was their response to his directive. Harshly, he asked, "What the hell is so funny?"

       It took quite awhile for the women to compose themselves. It was Rhonda who finally answered, smile still on her lips as she waved her hand in front of him as though he was some kind of lunatic.

       "Sorry, honey," she said in a sarcastic drawl, "but we don’t clean." She uttered the word as though bringing it up were as indelicate as discussing a social disease.

       "It’s not part of our job description," Hilda chimed in helpfully. Then they both erupted in laughter again.

       Hutch was just about to inform them that they damned well needed to worry about their job description since they were about to be fired, but he caught himself. He had absolutely no authority to fire Huggy’s staff and the last thing he wanted was to have to listen to the bartender’s martyred litany about how Hutch had cost him the two best workers he’d had in a long time. Knowing Huggy, the cop figured that he’d end up being responsible for providing new replacements. Visions of this "little favor"—closing up the bar—turning into an eternal commitment flashed through his mind as he struggled to control his temper. Just then, he turned from the still hysterical women to see his partner slinking out from the back room, a sheepish look on his face.

       "Well?" Hutch demanded.

       Starsky approached cautiously, and he made sure to stop several feet away from his partner. "Well, um, there’s a kinda problem, Hutch."

       "What problem?" Hutch asked through gritted teeth.

       "Well, I found some phone numbers all right, but it seems like– well, I don’t think these guys have what you’d call permanent residences. The places I called sounded more like flophouses and they weren’t real big on sharing any information. I’m not even sure they knew who I was talkin’ about, but they didn’t give a damn about helping me, anyway."

       The sound of high-pitched giggles grated on Hutch’s frayed nerves. He turned and eyed the women with contempt as he questioned icily, "I don’t suppose you have any idea where we could find Raoul, Mike, and the others?"

       "You might try looking under the nearest rock," Rhonda responded mirthfully.

       "They’re not what you’d call homebodies," Hilda added. "They kinda sleep wherever they can find a warm, willing body to invite them to share the other side of a bed."

       "Thank you so much for your help," Hutch responded caustically. He brought his hand to his face, rubbing the bridge of his nose as he continued. "You know what? I’ve changed my mind. I think it really is a good idea if you girls just take off early tonight. Why don’t you just run along."

       "Hey, Hutch, wait," Starsky called. "Don’t be so hasty. I’m sure the girls here wouldn’t mind sticking around to help up clean up a bit, right girls?" Starsky shot them his most disarming smile, charm oozing from every membrane of his body.

       The two women in the tight "Huggy Bear’s" tee shirts regarded him quietly for a moment—before bursting into convulsive laughter as they gathered their purses and headed towards the door.

       "Good-night, ladies," Hutch called, waving insincerely towards the retreating figures.

       "Wait!" Starsky pleaded as he followed after them. "Can’t we talk this over? You can’t be so heartless as to just leave a guy in need like this, can ya?"

       His response was the sound of a door closing on hysterical laughter, a sound that seemed to echo all the way up the street before finally fading into the silence that now permeated the bar. Starsky stood staring at the closed door, as if contemplating what his chances might be of escaping through it himself. Deciding to cut that option off before he wound up chasing his partner through the streets of Los Angeles, Hutch strode over, pulling the wad of keys from his pocket.

       After three tries, Hutch located the correct key and locked the front door securely. He then quietly turned the "closed" sign around to face outward, and pulled down the long manila shade that covered the glass door. As he slowly walked beside the windows, drawing those shades down as well, he mumbled gruffly under his breath, echoing Starsky’s own words from earlier this evening.

       "It’s no big deal, Hutch—no problem—just a little favor for Huggy—how hard can it be?"

       After the last shade had been drawn, completely cutting off the view of the outside world, Hutch turned to his partner.

       Starsky smiled hesitantly at him, taking a step back. "Hey, look, Hutch. I know what you’re thinkin’."

       "Really?" Hutch kept his face impassive as he slowly advanced toward his lover.

       "Yeah, I mean that’s one hell of a mess in there," Starsky continued as he took two more steps backwards. "And technically, I guess you’re thinkin’ this is my fault."

       "Technically?" Hutch took two more steady steps forward, as Starsky continued to move away from him.

       "Well, I was one who promised Huggy we would close up for him. And I guess it’s kinda my fault that the kitchen staff left."

       "Go on," Hutch said, giving away no emotions with his face or his tone as he continued to close the distance between them.

       "But when you think about it," Starsky continued nervously, "it’s your fault in a way too."

       "My fault?"

       "Think about it. You and Huggy kept getting on me about that little—indiscretion. I was really mad at you about that. You know how I feel about that. I don’t see how you can so easily keep throwing it in my face that way."

       "What does that have to do with anything?" Hutch asked exasperatedly.

       "If I wasn’t so angry with you, I wouldn’t have been so distracted and maybe I woulda been thinking more clearly and then maybe I woulda seen through that wild story and maybe–" Starsky stopped as his backward motion was abruptly halted by the edge of the pool table stabbing into his back.

       Hutch continued to advance until he was right in front of him. The cop’s index finger poked hard into Starsky’s chest. "This is all your doing Starsk."

       "Okay, okay, I’ll take most of the blame here. But it’s not really a big deal when you think about it. I mean if we work together, I’m sure we can get this mess cleaned up in no time."

       "We?! Who the hell is we?" Hutch demanded as he leaned forwarded, pinning Starsky against the pool table with both his body and the daggers in his eyes.

       "Now, Hutch, come on. Be reasonable here." Starsky tried to move to the side, but Hutch reached out to clutch the end of the table, trapping Starsky between his outstretched arms.

       "This is your problem, Starsk." The taller detective leaned his stony face closer for emphasis. "You promised Huggy, you let the kitchen staff leave before that disaster area in there was cleaned up, and now you need to go in there and deal with that mess yourself."

       "Ya mean you’re not gonna help me—not even just a little?" His voice was candy-sweet, his eyes beseeching with liquid blue softness.

       Alarms went off in the back of Hutch’s mind—alarms that warned him he was about to fall into the quicksand that was his lover’s guile. A man who could sell refrigerators to penguins. A man who could make virgins sacrifice themselves. A man who could bring his normally reserved lover—and himself—to a breath-stealing, heart-pounding, toe-curling orgasm just by talking into a phone. Hutch already felt his body’s instinctive reaction to that look. He jerked his hands from the table, hoping to pull back before it was too late.

       "No," he answered, relieved that there was still some semblance of surety in his voice.

       Starsky’s hands clutched the front of Hutch’s shirt, keeping him from making his escape. Long dark lashes blinked slowly over bottomless indigo eyes as Starsky peered up at him appealingly.

       "Come on, Hutch. That’s not like you. Won’t’cha at least consider helpin’ me? You’re usually more fair-minded than that."

       "Starsky," Hutch warned in a low growl. They both knew Starsky’s favorite weapon had a double edge. Yes, Hutch was a sucker for that pleading, vulnerable look, but being used that way also made him angrier than their Captain would get on those mornings when Starsky ate the last donut before Dobey’s arrival. Of course...that never stopped Starsky from eating it. Dobey’s only defense was to come in earlier and earlier and...The sinking feeling in Hutch’s gut intensified. No! he swore. Not this time!

       Starsky must’ve realized now was not the time to push too far; he released his grasp on Hutch’s shirtfront. His eyes, however, remained potent. "Okay, how about this? How about we–" he paused, looking around until Hutch could almost see the little lightbulb going off in that devious mind. "I got it!" he smiled triumphantly. "Why don’t we play a nice friendly game of pool. If I lose, I’ll clean. If I win, you’ll–"


       "Okay—amend that. If I lose, I’ll clean by myself and I won’t say another word to you about it. But if I win, you help me—just a little teeny bit, huh? What do you say? That’s fair. At least you’ll be givin’ me a chance instead of just saying no."

       "Not much of a chance, the way you play pool."

       Where the hell had that come from? He wasn’t actually considering this, was he?

       Starsky, the master of opportunity, jumped quickly at the opening. He laughed good-naturedly, smiling that Cheshire cat grin. "See, you don’t even have much to worry about then, right? So let’s do it. Come on, Hutch. The worst that can happen is you get to have a nice, fun, relaxing game of pool."

       "No, the worst that can happen is I end up in that greasepit with you scrubbing off the remains of dozens of ‘Huggy Specials.’"

       "Oh, I see. Losin’ confidence in the ol’ pools skills, huh?" Starsky’s voice was taunting. "Hey, that’s okay. I understand."

       All the voices inside him that had a shred of common sense were screaming at Hutch to just turn and walk away—walk away and stay completely out of range of those devastating eyes and that ‘charm-the-skin-off-a-snake’ smile. Yet in spite of the warning bells ringing like Times Square on New Year’s Eve, Hutch heard himself saying, "Fine. You want to play pool, we’ll play pool. And when I’m finished wiping the table with you, I’m going home. With the mess you have waiting for you in there, I won’t expect to see you before dawn."

       The grin on Starsky’s face seemed to stretch wider than the Grand Canyon. He clapped his hands together, rubbing them eagerly. "Great. This is gonna be fun, Hutch. You won’t regret it."

       "I already do," Hutch groused as he walked toward the bar to get a beer. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Starsky heading in the opposite direction. "Where are you going?"

       "Just gonna play a few tunes on the jukebox. I always play pool better with music. You don’t mind, do ya?"

       Hutch shrugged as he pulled the handle on the tap to start the flow of beer into his glass. "Knock yourself out."

       As Starsky worked to get his hand into the tight confines of his jean’s pocket to fish out some change, he called over his shoulder.

       "This will only take a second. You can start rackin’ em’ up, babe. You can even break if you wanna."

       "Oh, joy," Hutch deadpanned before taking a long sip of his beer. Carrying the glass, he approached the pool table. He set the glass down on a nearby table and began racking the balls on the pristine felt Huggy had just had installed that day.

       The bartender had regaled them half the night about his second-cousin-twice-removed who was going to make a killing on customizing pool tables. Huggy had already invested in the enterprise and was using his own pool table as an example of his cousin’s art. Hutch blinked as he rolled the balls into place, unsure of the business wisdom of elaborately-colored pool table felt. The Torino-red shade of this new felt was enough to blister the eyes, and Hutch found himself longing for the plain old green felt he was used to. Of course, Starsky had fallen in love with the table as soon as he’d seen it, insisting it would look even better if it only had a white stripe on it.

       "It sure is warm in here," he heard Starsky call from over by the juke box. "Huggy really oughta get that air conditioning checked."

       "The temperature is perfectly fine. Now will you hurry up and get over here? Stop dragging this out."

       "I’m almost finished."

       Hutch sighed irritably as he slid the rack of balls over the foot spot on the table and lifted the wooden frame. The balls positioned, Hutch moved toward the row of cue sticks on the wall. Selecting his favorite, he chalked it up, then laid it across a corner of the garishly-colored table. He then picked up the small container of talc and sprinkled some into his moist palms. Rubbing his hands together, he distributed the powder evenly before moving back toward his beer. Another sip for luck, and he’d set the cue ball, and break the rack.

       But before he could do that, several things happened in quick succession.

       The blare from the jukebox filled the quiet room just as Hutch lifted his glass. Recognizing the first notes immediately, the blond’s head swiveled towards his partner. At the same moment, Starsky turned towards him, his shirt front opened down to his navel, his hips gyrating to the pulsing rhythm of the song "I’m So Excited." The top button on Starsky’s impossibly tight button-fly jeans was opened and parted, exposing the line of dark hair that led to–

       Hutch’s powdered hand shook, causing the glass to slip straight through his fingers; hitting the floor, it shattered loudly. Beer and glass exploded around his feet, yet Hutch was oblivious, his gaze locked on his partner. Starsky was singing now, one hand cupping the back of his head, while his entire body shimmied provocatively.

       "Just what the hell do you think you’re doing!" Hutch spat out. He hated his Pavlovian brain-freeze, hated even more his body’s betrayal, but an unexpected, intense arousal was suddenly battling with fierce anger for supremacy within him.

       "Wha’d’ya mean?" Starsky asked, once more the picture of innocence. "You said I could play some music."

       "So you pick this song?" Hutch asked, incredulously. Starsky knew damn well what this song—combined with the patented "Starsky choreography"—did to him. It was painfully obvious that his lover intended to play to win, even if it meant playing downright dirty—especially if it meant playing dirty. In Starsky’s mind, Hutch knew, that would only make it more fun.

       "What are you trying to pull, Starsk?" Hutch demanded, fighting to appear unflustered by the tempting, teasing sight before him.

       "I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about, Hutch. It’s just a song. It was the first one I came across and you kept rushing me."

       "Really? And what about the shirt? And-and-and–" he pointed toward Starsky’s groin, waving his hand irritably, "what’s with that?"

       More eyelash batting, more why-officer-what-are-you-implying? looks. "I told ya I was warm. I was just trying to cool off a bit. What’sa’matter? It’s not...bothering you, is it?" Even Starsky couldn’t hide that much smirk.

       "Yeah, well, it does bother me, so close it back up before you shed hair all over Huggy’s new felt. And who the hell could concentrate with that racket? That juke’s volume is cranked up for a full house. So, you can just turn that damn song off, too."

       "I can’t just turn it off. It’s a jukebox, not a turntable."

       "Well, then, pull the plug!"

       Starsky never even looked at the jukebox. Instead, he moved seductively towards Hutch, smiling slyly, his body oozing raw heat as his eyes lured the blond into an almost hypnotic stupor. The mongoose stalking the cobra. His voice was low and raspy.

       "Sure, Hutch, if that’s what you really want. I didn’t mean to rattle ya. But if it’s too much for you–"

       "I-I-I am not r-rattled," Hutch snapped, obviously rattled. Taking a step back, he turned away from the tantalizing body before him. Damn you, Starsky, you dirty little–

       Hutch took a deep breath, struggling for control. He knew exactly what Starsky was up to and he’d be damned if he let him get away with it. You can handle this, Hutchinson. You’re a grown man. A senior detective. You’re not some teenager on a hormone binge over his first lover. You are the master of your emotions. Turning back around slowly, an icy gleam in his eyes, he spoke with measured coolness.

       "Okay, Starsk. You want to play dirty pool, we’ll play dirty pool. Just remember, you started this."

       He knew Starsky well enough to know that the grin spreading across his face meant the curly-headed imp figured he now had Hutch right where he wanted him.

       You think so, huh? Hutch thought. A plan began formulating that might make this a more even playing field. "So, if this is gonna be dirty pool—let’s pull out the stops. Let’s add to the stakes, make the game more..." he eyed Starsky blatantly up and down "—interesting. Let’s play strip pool."

       Finally, Starsky faltered. He blinked, thinking furiously. Hutch could almost see smoke coming from his ears. "Strip pool–?"

       "Yeah. Strip pool. In the same nature as that lovely game of strip poker you taught me a few months ago. Or the version of strip Monopoly you talked me into. Or those complicated rounds of strip pinochle–"

       Starsky held up his hands to stop the recitation. "I gotcha, I gotcha, but...strip pool? In Huggy’s bar?"

       Hutch looked around, encompassing their environment. "We’re all alone. Huggy won’t be back till he comes in to open the business tomorrow morning. Besides, don’t you want to inspire me?" It was Hutch’s turn to feel smug.

       Starsky considered the offer. "Okay. But you said we should pull out the stops."

       "That’s right. A real down and dirty game of pool. After all, it is a very sensuous game—the long cue sticks, the way you ‘stroke’ the balls—why don’t we let it all hang out. Anything goes. It should be permissible to do anything to distract the shooter except interfere with the actual shot itself."

       Starsky started smiling again. "That sounds interesting, Hutch. Okay. You’re on."

       Hutch returned the grin, feeling confident once more. If he was a complete sucker for Starsky’s seduction scenarios, well, Starsky had his weaknesses, too. If Hutch didn’t know how to exploit them after all these years, then he deserved to spend the night up to his elbows in soapsuds.

       Rechalking his cue, and moving to the head of the table, Hutch focused on the unbroken rack. "You can kill that music anytime, buddy."

       "Uhn-uh," Starsky said, as he moved to the table’s foot end. "The music is to my advantage. It stays." He was smiling.

       Hutch shrugged as if it made no difference to him. As Starsky hooked his thumbs in his jeans pocket, pulling the taut denim just that much tighter across his groin, and separating the waistband just that much more, Hutch stared at the cue ball, telling himself, Just concentrate. Forget the music.

       He picked up the cue, leaned over the red felt, and lined up his breaking shot. Forget about the night Starsky left this song playing on the turntable, over and over and over while the two of us started on the couch, then did it on the floor, over the coffee table– He blinked, pushed hair out of his eyes, and, forming a bridge over the cue with his forefinger, stared at the cue ball. Break hard. You break soft and he’ll call a foul.

       Just then he noticed that Starsky’s crotch and his cue stick were lined up perfectly with one another. If he looked at things just right, it was almost as if he were about to fire the cue ball right at his partner’s groin.

       Starsky had to know it, too, because just as Hutch drew back to make the shot, he grazed his fingertips over his fly, slowly, seductively, then purred, "Yeah, break hard now, babe, really hard."

       Like a stud bull trained to a bell, Hutch’s cock stirred at Starsky’s words at the exact moment he made his stroke. He broke hard all right. As colored balls caromed every which where across the table—none of them having the consideration of going into a pocket—the cue ball smacked a side rail with sufficient force that it bounced over the rail and hit the floor.

       "Awwwww–" Starsky commiserated insincerely. "That’s a scratch, pal." He caught the bouncing cue ball expertly, and jogged over to the wall rack to selected a cue. "My turn!" He was positively jubilant, all seduction gone.

       Hutch nodded, irritated. Not only would this give Starsky a turn, his turn would be started with every ball on the table and he would have the extra advantage of "ball in hand"—which meant he could put the cue ball anywhere he wanted. Grinding his teeth, Hutch stalked over to the jukebox, just as the first song was clashing to an end.

       "Hey, shouldn’t you be losin’ a piece of clothing?" Starsky called as he looked at the cues.

       Yanking his shirt out of his pants, Hutch scanned the record selections, and quickly made a choice, hoping the juke would cooperate with him. A lot of older boxes, like Huggy’s, would play the songs in order, unless someone plugged a new selection in during the first selection’s run. In that case, it might bump the new selection in place before finishing the old selection out—moving the remaining numbers of the first group behind the most recent choices. If Hutch was lucky–

       As Starsky prowled around the table, determining where to place the cue ball and making side comments about the table’s "perfect color," the first strains of Ten CC’s "I’m Not In Love" filtered through the bar.

       Starsky stopped and stared at his blond lover. "I didn’t pick that."

       "No, I did. You said music helped you play. So play. It’s your turn, pal."

       Starsky visibly swallowed, but turned his attention back to the game. As the music and words rolled around them, Hutch smiled and strolled back towards the table. He knew there was no way Starsky could concentrate fully with this song playing at top volume, especially not while staring at that red felt. It had been on the radio that night in the Torino—the first night. The night they’d been arguing, the night Starsky had pushed Hutch to his limits, the night his partner had demanded to get to the bottom of the tension between them and Hutch couldn’t take it any more, just couldn’t handle it, as Starsky pushed him to a stuttering, stammering denial that there even was a problem. Then, finally, Starsky demanded to know, getting right in Hutch’s face there in the car–

       "Tell me the truth, dammit, what the fuck’s goin’ on with you? Things ain’t been right with us since the shooting. You can’t stop nursemaidin’ me, hoverin’‘round me, can’t keep your hands offa me, but you’re bitchin’ at me at the same time. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were in love with me or somethin’ and was mad about it."

       "I-I-In love with you?" Hutch had stammered, horrified that Starsky had hit so close to the mark. "W-w-w-where’d you get such a s-s-s-stupid idea–?"

       And then that song had chimed in, perfectly timed.

       "I’m not in love, so don’t forget it,

       "It’s just a silly phase I’m going through

       "And just because I call you up

       "Don’t get me wrong, don’t think you’ve got it made

       "I’m not in love, no no, it’s because...

       The words had been so clear as the singer proceeded to deny the obvious, even to himself.

       And the two of them had stared at each other as Hutch’s protests had completely collapsed. Then, in perfect time with the singer, Starsky had asked, "...It’s because–?" Then, before Hutch could even attempt to answer, Starsky had grabbed him by the back of the head and pulled him into a searing kiss, right there in the car, parked on Wilshire, in front of God and everyone. In the next instant, they were like two teenagers, frantic to get each other off.

       It had been wild, and impossibly romantic, and Hutch knew damned well neither of them could ever hear that song without feeling that impossible jolt of surprise and excitement as they finally crossed the invisible barrier between them and became lovers.

       Starsky was grinding his teeth, but finally placed the cue ball on the table, carefully keeping his hand on it while still considering if this was the best placement.

       Hutch moved up close behind his partner. As he spoke, he slowly unbuttoned his shirt and drew it off. "Interesting name for this rule, isn’t it? If the cue ball hits the floor the opposing player gets to play ball in hand. Mmmmmm. Ball in hand." As the song continued to play, Hutch knew Starsky had to be thinking about how Hutch had taken his balls in hand, that night in the Torino, gentle and rough, possessive and loving.

       As Hutch finished taking off the shirt, he ever so lightly brushed his groin against his lover’s rear, then draped the shirt over Starsky’s left shoulder. Stiffly, Starsky snatched up the cue ball, shrugged off the shirt, and moved to a safer place around the table.

       Hutch grinned and waited for him to settle.

       Once he stood as far from Hutch as he could get, Starsky nearly slammed the cue ball down, focusing on his shot—entirely too quickly, Hutch knew—and leaned over the table.

       "Now, don’t rush on my account," Hutch drawled, as Starsky jerked the cue stick into the ball before he barely had the chance to line it up.

       Predictably, balls banged around the table violently left and right—going nowhere in a hurry. Not one single ball of any color combination found its way into a pocket. Hutch chuckled. When he was rattled, he slowed down; when Starsky was rattled, he rushed. They were both so predictable it was pathetic.

       "Shit!" Starsky swore, glaring at his partner, his blue eyes like glaciers.

       "And you think I’m a pushover," Hutch said, shaking his head. He waggled a finger in Starsky’s direction. "Shirt. Off. It’ll just save time for later when you’re bent over that sink."

       Starsky’s expression changed ever so subtly, but Hutch didn’t miss it. "That’s just what you’re waiting for, isn’t it? For me to bend over that sink." Slowly, Starsky started pulling his shirt tails out of his tight jeans. "You have no intention of going home if you win this game." He drew the fabric off his shoulders with a casual grace that made Hutch’s breath catch in his throat. "If you win, I know damned well where you’re gonna be—and it ain’t gonna be home."

       He prowled towards Hutch even as the blond found himself backing up, one step at a time, until he bumped into a chair, corrected himself, tripped, and crashed sideways into the bar, which was where Starsky finally cornered him. The curly-haired seducer tossed his discarded shirt over the bar and pressed himself against his partner, front to front, sliding his arms around Hutch’s waist.

       By now, Hutch’s body was on full alert and there was no hope of hiding it, so he didn’t even try. His blood was racing, and he was flushed all down his neck and bare chest. "W-w-where do you th-th-think I’m gonna be?"

       Starsky’s eyebrows raised as he pulled their bodies tighter together. "Where you always are, partner," he purred, smiling. "Right behind me. Watchin’ my back. Ready for action–"

    At the word "action," Hutch sprang, unable to resist the taunting any longer. Burying a hand in Starsky’s hair, he anchored his lover’s head in place and zeroed in for a kiss. Apparently, Starsky was ready, too, because he latched onto a healthy handful of Hutch’s hair and the two of them mouth-wrestled for long, lovely seconds.

       Hutch pulled away first. "I know what you’re doing," he gasped, searching for air. "It’s my turn. You’re just tryin’ to spoil my game."

       Starsky’s smile was pure seduction. "Maybe I just wanna play with that big, pretty cue stick of yours." His magical left hand emphasized his intentions by rubbing Hutch’s swollen crotch hard through his pants.

       "Oh, damn you, Starsky," Hutch swore and captured his mouth again, his tongue plunging, searching, storming the yielding mouth as Starsky stroked him. The blond’s hands traveled down Starsky’s back to cup the beautiful mounds of his ass. And Hutch knew he was in trouble. All he could imagine now was Starsky bent over that sink...up to his elbows in suds...the front of his pants all wet...Hutch was losing it.

       Of course, Starsky knew that, too, and pulled out of the kiss. Drawing his hands down Hutch’s arms, he took hold his hands, pulled on them. "Come on, blondie. It’s your turn. Ya gotta beat me at this game, or you’ll never get to stand behind me and watch me bend over that sink."

       Hutch was breathing like a bellows, trying to get his brain out of its sexual fog and back on business. Could he even do that? If Starsky wasn’t careful, he’d push too far, and– Sometimes his wicked demon lover could whip Hutch into a frenzy of need, make him forget everything—who he was, where they were, why they were there—just by running his mouth. When Hutch got like that, anything could happen. Starsky knew that—and he loved it. Even when it got him in trouble.

       Starsky placed Hutch’s cue in his hands, while the blond tried to blink the sexual haze out of his eyes. "Gotta drop summa those balls in their pockets, big boy," Starsky purred, stroking Hutch’s groin with the back of his hand.

       "You think I can’t?" Hutch stammered, his voice quavering.

       Starsky cocked his head to one side. "Oh, I’m sure you can. Hutch, I can barely imagine all the things you can do to a set of balls. Come on. It’s your turn."

       He’s playin’ me like a violin, Hutch thought in some cooler, more collected portion of his mind. But, really, he didn’t care. He found himself making his own plans, seeing his own future, and it had nothing to do with dishes, or sinks, or even winning this stupid game.

       Without another word, Hutch forced his attention back to the table. He blinked sweat and hair out of his eyes, and tried to make some sense out of the mess of balls lying there so innocently. He found the cue ball, glanced around at the possibilities. Since a single ball hadn’t been sunk yet, it really didn’t matter whether he put a stripe or solid in a pocket, so he had his pick.

       Take something easy, he told himself. No glitz. A nice, short, straight-in shot.

       He swallowed, lined up something sweet and neat, and leaned over the table. His palms were sweating, but that was okay. Indicating which pocket he was going to send the ball in, he formed a bridge around the cue, and took aim.

       Starsky, barechested, one button opened on his jeans, was standing right beside him. "It’s an easy shot, partner. Just line it up, and hit the ball. Easy." The imp grinned as a bead of sweat tracked down Hutch’s face. Then Starsky slid a hand slowly over Hutch’s ass and between his legs.

       The blond froze, and squeaked a protest. "Starsky...!"

       "I’m not interfering with your shot, babe," his lover insisted. "You set the rules. Anything goes. Go ahead and make your shot. I’ve got a set of balls of my own to play with."

       Hutch shut his eyes as he was subjected to the heavenly sensation of Starsky toying with his sac, fingertips skimming the taut denim that encased them, the touch impossibly light, yet able to travel through the jeans as effectively as if Hutch were nude. Unable to stop himself, he groaned softly and felt his rear lifting to assist the wonderful hand petting and stroking and rolling his balls in its palm.

       "Now, don’t lift your butt, Hutch, it’s bad form!" Starsky chided even as he squeezed the sac just the way the blond loved it.

       In spite of Starsky’s admonition, Hutch’s rear moved higher as he forced his eyes open and took his shot just to get it over with so he could tackle his lover.

       "Hutch!" Starsky warned as his partner drew back his arm to make the shot. Starsky actually sounded serious—not that Hutch cared. "The butt! Don’t lift the butt! Hutch!"

       Too late, Hutch realized Starsky wasn’t talking about his buttocks, but rather the butt of his cue, which he’d also been raising along with the feline-like reaction of his rear. His brain on sensation overload, he jerked the cue too hard, and with the butt elevated, hit the ball wild. There was an ugly tearing sound as Hutch’s cue gouged a one-inch tear in the pristine crimson felt. In addition, the shot forced the ball into a violent backspin, knocking it into three other balls before one of them smacked the eight ball, sending it into a side pocket. Hutch stared at the devastated table.

       Starsky clucked in commiseration. "Tsk, tsk. Huggy’s brand-new stylish red felt. Are you in trouble." He sidled around to the pocket that swallowed the eight ball. "And, to add insult to injury, you just lost the game." He reached in, plucked out the eight ball, and held it up in three fingers as if to prove his point.

       Hutch felt the heat in his face and the ache in his groin war with one another. "That was a miscue!" he shouted. "That was a foul!"

       "That," Starsky insisted, "was the eight ball in the side pocket. That’s the loss of the game, pal."

       "How the hell am I supposed to make a decent shot with you-you-you—grabbing my nuts! That was a foul, Starsky, and you know it!"

       Starsky, ever the picture of calm, held up his palms as if to placate his outraged friend. "Okay. Okay. This once, we’ll call it a foul. I don’t want any hard feelings. In fact, I’ll even let you take the shot over ’cause I feel bad about you havin’ to pay for a new felt."

       Hutch felt his blood pressure climbing and knew he was close to committing an act of violence. He knew without a doubt he would have to pay for that felt. Huggy would have a fit when he saw his beautiful customized table violated, an absolute fit. His hand was clutching the cue stick so tightly he could feel the wood complaining. He eyed up the table for another shot as Starsky put the eight ball back in the proximity of where it was.

       Suddenly, Hutch paused. "If you allow that shot as a foul," he said with more calm than he really felt, "then it’s only right that you take the next shot."

       Starsky shrugged. "If you say so. And, uh, I don’t wanna belabor the obvious, but," he licked his lower lip, "shouldn’t you be droppin’ your pants or somethin’?"

       Hutch narrowed his eyes. "Something," he said flatly. Pulling off his shoe, he stripped off a sock, tossed it over a chair and redonned his shoe. "Something. Your turn."

       Starsky looked disappointed, but lined up his next shot. And it looked good, too. A clear combination that should net him three balls at once in an easy straight-in shot with the cue ball fairly close to the rail. He was grinning already as he chalked his cue.

       Hutch started to smile as well. There was really only one place Starsky could stand, and by the time he got over there, Hutch was already positioned.

       Starsky hesitated. "What the hell are you doing?" He looked down at his partner poised nearly under the table on his knees.

       "Not for you to worry about. I’m not in your way, I’m not interfering with your shot. I’m not even touching you."

       The word yet hung in the air like an unfired gun brandished by an outlaw.

       "Hutch..." Starsky growled in warning.

       Hutch just smiled beatifically from the floor. "You’ve got all the room you need, Starsk. Line up your shot."

       With a wicked glee, Hutch watched Starsky try to figure out just how far away he could get from his crouching partner and still hit the ball, and predictably, he finally decided to just take his chances. He positioned himself, started taking aim and–

       "What the hell–?" Starsky tried to jump back, but he couldn’t because Hutch had just popped the next two buttons on his fly, and had hold of his semi-erect cock. "HUUUUTCH!!!"

       "Take your best shot, lover," Hutch told him, just as he pocketed the head of Starsky’s cock in his mouth.

       "Oh, shit!" the darker man swore, and Hutch had the satisfying sensation of seeing Starsky’s knees sag as the blond slid his tongue slowly over his lover’s crown. "You sonuva–You think I can’t do it..." The last word in that sentence dissolved into a half groan as Hutch, carefully keeping his hands to himself, swallowed more of Starsky’s growing erection. "You think I can’t make this shot just becaus’a...because..." One long-fingered hand slid into Hutch’s hair, gripping it, urging him on. "Oh, damn, Hutch, that’s–"

       Good. Damn good, isn’t it, boy? Do I know you, or what? It was hard to smile while you were giving head, but Hutch wanted to grin.

       Suddenly Starsky seemed to pull himself together. He straightened his legs, gathered himself to make his shot, and released Hutch’s hair. Hutch swallowed Starsky’s manhood deeper, playing him with lips and tongue just the way he knew Starsky could barely stand it. He saw the tremor in the calves and knew no matter how much concentration Starsky used, there was only so much left over for the table.

       From where Hutch knelt, he saw Starsky tighten for the shot, saw his arm draw back and–

       At just the precise moment of the hit, Hutch let Starsky feel teeth. Not to hurt his lover, Hutch would never do that. No, he did it just the way he knew Starsky loved it, just the gentlest, most tantalizing, hint of a threat, the most careful touching of teeth. For Starsky, it would be like a lightening bolt running up the backs of his legs, into his spine, then into his arms. Every single neuron that ever knew a single thing about the game of pool would be fried to a cinder by that one special zap that Starsky adored. How could he complain?

       Hutch used his teeth, and Starsky shouted, "Oh, fuck, you bastard!"

       The blond couldn’t see the action on the table, but all of a sudden balls began raining down all over the floor—two, three, four, bounce, bounce, bounce—followed immediately by the pool cue as it clattered to his level.

       "You sonuva bitch," Starsky muttered, his upper body lying sprawled across the table in abject defeat. "You bastard." The words, Hutch knew, were the endearments of a man lost in the throes of his pleasure. "You mutha...I’m gonna get you for this, Hutchinson..."

       I sure hope so, Hutch thought, bemused, as he released his oral grip, tucked his lover back in and buttoned at least one button up to restrain him, then slid out from under the table.

       "I guess this means I gotta give up a coupla socks," Starsky said wearily, still stretched across the table. He didn’t even sound sorry about it.

       "With the mess you made," Hutch chastised, as he checked the table’s pockets, "maybe more than that." Grinning, he found what he was looking for, and pulled it out. The eight ball was the only ball to actually make it into a pocket. He held it up for Starsky’s inspection, then dropped it back in just to make his point.

       One glazed indigo eye peeked over Starsky’s shoulder, then winced.

       "Let’s call it a foul," Hutch suggested, leaning one arm on the table. "I’m feeling generous." It was easy to be generous when your lover looked as delicious as Starsky did right now, sprawled across the red felt, bare-chested, his dusky skin tones contrasting beautifully against the striking scarlet of the felt. Talk about good enough to eat

       Starsky looked like he half-considered forfeiting the game, but then he pulled himself together and stood back up, if shakily. Slowly, he removed two socks, then slipped his Adidas back on. "I’m scared to take my next shot," he grumbled. "Scared the next balls on this table are gonna be mine."

       Hutch helped him retrieve the battered game balls and set them back on the abused felt. Starsky pulled out the uncooperative eight ball and put it back in place.

       "You still have one sock on, don’t’cha?" Starsky asked disgustedly.

       Hutch just grinned as he walked around the table, lining up the next shot. He felt in control again, felt his lust for his lover, that overwhelming need always just bubbling under his calm exterior, reined in, in check, put back in its place. Of course, that last remark of Starsky’s teased at him, tormented him, but he tried to ignore it. How was it Starsky’s mouth could get him in so much trouble? If he knew that, he really would be a man of his own destiny.

       "Did it feel good, doin’ that t’me?" Starsky asked quietly. His eyes had gone sly again.

       But Hutch was too much in control to worry about it. Besides, Starsky wasn’t immune to his talk either. "Doesn’t it always? Havin’ you in my mouth...making you crazy for me...feeling you lose it because of what I’m doing with my tongue–"

       "And your teeth," Starsky reminded him. "That was particularly wicked, Hutch. Real dirty pool."

       Hutch chuckled as he lined up a particularly nice shot. He remained focused even when Starsky came to stand behind him. He was going to sink this ball, then the next, then the next...then win this game...

       Starsky’s mouth started trailing a gentle path of kisses down Hutch’s spine. He felt goosebumps erupt over every inch of his fair skin. He closed his eyes in bliss, but only for a second. He couldn’t let himself be distracted. Not now.

       "It’s gonna be pretty damned hard for me to make a shot with you lying on my back!" he protested.

       "You’re right," Starsky said, giving in way too easy. "Can’t interfere with your shot." The lips moved lower down the knobs of his spine, down to his waistband.

       Hutch could feel the tip of Starsky’s tongue tickling him delightfully. He sighed, lining up his shot. It was nice. Not too distracting. Just nice.

       Then Starsky’s hands slipped around his partner’s front and deftly flipped open his waistband button, sliding Hutch’s zipper open.

       The blond stiffened, expecting Starsky to try grabbing his quietly complaining hard-on, but then realized that wasn’t Starsky’s objective. No.

       Instead, his licentious partner knelt as he slipped Hutch’s jeans low over his hips so his tongue could continue its downward journey. Lips gently kissed and teeth tenderly nipped their way over the upper portion of Hutch’s left buttock, then his right, then that tongue-tip, that evil, liquid tongue tip traced its wicked way down the crevice of Hutch’s ass.

       It was everything the tall cop could do to hang onto his cue stick. He gripped a side rail of the table and swayed in place. "Starsky!" His protest was strangled, barely understandable. "What do you think you’re– That’s not fair!"

       But apparently, Starsky’s tongue wasn’t listening, and with his tongue teasing its way lower and lower down Hutch’s ass, there was no way Starsky could reply. He didn’t need to. All he needed to do to render this man completely helpless was just continue what he’d started. Finally, the talented tongue zeroed in on its goal, and tenderly tormented Hutch’s tightly clenched ass, rendering the blond functionally useless.

       Hutch shivered uncontrollably as he was subjected to one of his singularly favorite intimacies, and quickly forgot where they were, what they were doing, everything but the sweet pleasure of Starsky’s gentle wet rimming. "Oh, goddamn you, goddamn you..." Hutch was gasping, helpless, unable to do anything that required physical coordination. "Too far. Now you’ve gone too far."

       Starsky paused in his sublime torture. "I’m not interfering with your shot, babe. Go on and take it. Bend over the table. It’ll make what I’m doin’ so much easier." And he went right back to it.

   Hutch groaned, and leaned over obligingly, grasping his cue stick in a death grip. Hands shaking, arms trembling, legs weak with a pleasure that seemed endless, Hutch desperately tried to line up his shot. He aimed, shot, and watched balls ricochet around everywhere to no avail. Starsky’s tongue was making him insane, totally crazed, and Hutch knew he had to end this farce of a game. His hand slipped on the rail, and he fell to his elbow, his forearm sliding across the table and knocking balls left and right. There was all kinds of activity on the felt as balls rolled around randomly, but the only one that actually ended up in a pocket was–

       Starsky was on his feet in a flash, abandoning his seduction, leaving Hutch gasping over the table with his pants around his thighs. "Eight ball in the corner pocket!" Starsky crowed. "Can’t call that a foul this time, partner." He moved toward the pocket the eight ball had dropped in and groped for it.

       "I didn’t hit that with my cue! I hit it with my arm when you–when you–you–" Hutch was struggling to yank his jeans back over his ass and regain some shred of dignity when he realized that was impossible. He stared at this maniac he lived with, this incubus who could render him totally helpless with his hands and his mouth, and felt himself slipping over the edge.

       Starsky was still groping for the eight ball, not paying much attention to what he was doing as he grinned at Hutch. "You think I believe that? You know I couldn’t see a thing with all’a that big, pretty ass in my line of vision. You’re tryin’ to pull a fast one, Hutch, but I’m on to ya. Eight ball in the corner pocket. You lose, pal. It’s sink city for you!" Starsky was positively jubilant.

       Oh, no! Hutch thought, feeling a murderous, sexual haze completely obliterating his good sense. Oh, no, not this time, my love. He reached into his back pocket as Starsky grinned triumphantly while still groping for the eight ball. In a low, deadly rumble, he murmured, "Can’t find your ball, buddy?"

       Too late, Starsky heard the tone and recognized the expression on Hutch’s face. He hesitated. "Uh–now wait a minute, Hutch. I mean, we’re gonna share dishwashing duties, remember? It’s not like you’re gonna be doin’ it all alone..." Starsky started to pull his hand from the corner pocket, but Hutch moved too fast for him.

       Grabbing Starsky’s wrist as it left the pocket, Hutch slapped a handcuff on it and tightened it down. Before Starsky had a chance to react, Hutch dragged the other cuff down into the pool table pocket, latching it through the open metal-work grill at the bottom.

       Starsky blinked dazedly, staring at his cuffed wrist, as if unable to comprehend his partner’s plan. "What the hell–? You’re losin’ it, Hutchinson. What are you–?"

       "You were right the first time, Starsky," Hutch told him, sliding his hand into Starsky’s tight back pocket and retrieving his partner’s handcuffs as well. "It is gonna be your balls on the table next."

       "Hutch, now wait a minute," Starsky babbled, finally recognizing the danger he was in. "We still got all that work to do in the kitchen. You don’t wanna do this here–"

       "Oh, don’t I? Don’t I wanna see you bent over the sink? You bet I do, but first, I wanna see your ass up on that table..." Hutch was grinning like a maniac, and Starsky’s face had that panicked expression that just turned him on all the more. Yes, this game was his.

       As he cuffed Starsky’s right wrist, the smaller man tried to scramble away from him, but his only escape route was literally across the table. He clambered up on the corner of the table, attempting to come back down on the other side, maneuvering as well as he could with his left hand captive. But Hutch moved quickly, grabbing the shackled right wrist while Starsky was still kneeling on the table, and yanking it over to the other pocket where he secured it firmly just as he’d done to the left. Starsky’s arms were now spread wide across the foot of the table as his chin slipped flat against the felt. As he struggled to get back up on his knees, Hutch removed his partner’s shoes with a chuckle. "We don’t wanna get mud on Huggy’s pretty crimson felt, now do we?"

       "Huuuuuutch!" Starsky wailed. "This is assault! Assault against a police officer! Not here! Not in Huggy’s place! On the pool table?"

       "You should’ve thought of that before you waved the red flag in front of the horniest bull you know," Hutch chided, as he kicked off his own shoes and climbed up on the table behind Starsky. "But you never do think before you pull my chain, do you?" It amused Hutch to hear the balls, roughly shoved aside by his and Starsky’s legs, clunk into pockets all over the table, while some of them were shoved over the rails onto the floor where they bounced away merrily.

       Starsky knew better than to fight the cuffs, and just flailed around the table on his knees, trying to escape his partner, which, of course, was impossible at this point.

       Hutch helpfully unbuttoned the last button of the world’s tightest jeans and peeled them off Starsky’s voluptuous ass, even as he dug in his pocket for the tube of Vaseline lip therapy he’d been using on his chapped lips earlier this week. It would do.

       "Hutch, come on! We just needta get this place squared away, and then we can go home and ball to our hearts’ content. You don’t wanna do this here!"

       "Oh, yes, I do," Hutch said, sounding so much calmer than he actually felt. His blood was pounding as the stared at the luscious rump elevated on Starsky’s knees that was just waiting for him. "You look perfect against this red felt, lover, positively delicious. After all, it’s your color. Oh, yeah, Starsky. I do believe the all-night bun factory has just opened its door."

       "Huuuuuutch!" What started out as a disconcerted protest quickly evolved into a lusty moan as Hutch filled each hand with one of the bouncing orbs and spread them wide, thrusting his tongue deep into his partner. Hutch was merciless, his tongue thrusting and laving without pause until he could feel Starsky trembling uncontrollably beneath him.

       Bucking up into Hutch’s eager mouth, Starsky began to groan. The blond knew his partner’s defenses against this particular touch were even more limited than his own, and he reveled in the satisfaction of payback as he felt his lover’s control completely shatter in a matter of minutes.

       Hutch propped himself higher on his knees, without missing a beat with his mouth, and opened his eyes to study his feast. Starsky’s arms were stretched taut, straining against the cuffs as he struggled to feed himself further against the velvet tongue and hungry mouth that were fast becoming his undoing. His forehead was pressed flat on the ruby felt, beads of sweat trailing into his closed eyes. The delicious sounds emitting from his parted lips were reminiscent of an animal in heat. As for Hutch, the musky scent and unique taste of his lover were driving him wild, just as they always did. He knew that scent as well as he knew this man, and it fed his hunger for him like little else could. The sexy image Starsky presented against the odd-colored felt only enhanced the entire experience. Hutch pulled the meaty globes he was holding wider apart as he tried to drive his tongue straight through to Starsky’s brain.

       Starsky howled, shifting to draw his knees up tighter under his chest, his ass lifting higher to meet Hutch’s thrusts. His fingers fumbled to clutch the rim of the table pockets, holding on tightly against the shudders coursing through him. His body English said one thing to Hutch—more. I need more. More from you.

       Hutch reached beneath his quivering partner, determined to fracture any last remaining hold he may have still had on his sanity. Wrapping his long fingers around his lover’s rock hard shaft, he began to stroke slowly—too slowly. Enough to incite, but not nearly enough to satisfy.

       The bellowing howl that reverberated through the room nearly shook a collection of glasses on the bar and made the big mirror tremble.

       "Awwwwww jeez...Hutch! Please–"

       "Please what?" Hutch asked innocently before bringing his mouth back down to suck at the tight puckered opening while his fingers continued their slow torture.

       "Do somethin’...anything," Starsky pleaded. "I can’t...can’t take this anymore...please!"

       "Do something?" Hutch murmured, sliding his tongue up and down the slick, wet crease beneath him. "I thought I was doing quite a bit, judging by your reaction."

       "Dammit, Hutch, please!" Starsky cursed between gritted teeth as he tried to get his knees steady enough beneath him to thrust against Hutch’s hand.

       Starsky was never patient when it came to his gratification—which was why Hutch drew all the more pleasure from taunting him, forcing him to wait beyond any level of endurance that the curly-haired cop believed he possessed. Evading the thrusting cock, Hutch slid his palm under the warm fluid leaking from it. Rubbing Starsky’s moisture into his fingertips, Hutch slid the damp digits along the fur-covered balls. This elicited a tortured moan from somewhere deep in Starsky’s hoarse throat.


       Hutch felt his own balls tighten in response to the sound that nearly drove him over the edge. As much as he was enjoying making his lover mad for him, he wasn’t sure he had much endurance left himself. He wanted Starsky—wanted him so bad the need was nearly blinding.

       "Please...please Hutch, come on...can’t...please..."

       "Need it bad, don’t you?" Hutch growled seductively, unsure whether he was talking more to Starsky or himself. It was Starsky, however, who eagerly responded.


       Hutch manipulated the moist, hard balls with the fingertips of his left hand as he trailed his right forefinger around the outside of his lover’s waiting portal.

       "Want it bad enough to admit you cheated? To admit that whole game was a sham and that you deserve to do all those dishes yourself?"

       "Wha’?" Beneath him, Starsky stirred slightly out of his lust-crazed fog. "...Why you lousy, sore-losing, son-of-a..."

       Starsky tried to pull away then, but he didn’t get far. Hutch moved his hand from the bulging sacs and placed it flat in the small of Starsky’s back, holding his lover still as he thrust his forefinger hard up the slippery channel inside of him. With the precision born of years of loving this man, Hutch found his target in seconds, tickling the engorged prostate with just the right amount of pressure to send his lover flying. Starsky’s head came up off the table, neck stretched back as he emitted a piercing wail. His skin burned hot to the touch. He was Hutch’s now, pure and simple.

       Before his lover could even catch a breath, Hutch repeated the move, finger-fucking his partner until he was writhing helplessly beneath him. Starsky was screaming, moaning, swearing...Hutch couldn’t even make out most of the words. He found himself lost in the feel of his lover’s hunger, the delicate sucking of his nether mouth. Though every limb was shaking, Starsky blindly managed to find the strength to thrust up to meet Hutch’s every stroke, his hot channel forcefully swallowing Hutch’s finger, threatening to sever it at the knuckle. Hutch’s own angry cocked flared jealously, demanding its turn to drown in that vortex.

       Face falling flat against the table, Starsky groaned, his voice taking on that husky tone that always signaled the urgency of his need.

       "Fine. You win, I cheated. Whatever! I’ll do all the damn dishes. Just...fuck me. Damn you, Hutchinson—fuck!"

       Every nerve ending in his own body was screaming the same command as Hutch groped blindly beside him on the table for the Vaseline, his eyes locked on the beautiful ass offering itself up to him for the taking.

       His hands shook as he squeezed some of the lip balm into his hand and smoothed it along his rigid shaft. The feel of the gel against his already inflamed arousal nearly sent him overboard. Clamping down on whatever shreds of self-control he still had remaining, he reached for his partner’s hips. His fingers dug so deeply into the smooth skin that he feared angry bruises would be evident tomorrow as a souvenir of their wild encounter.

       Roughly, he positioned his lover at just the right angle, pulling Starsky’s hips up towards his waiting cock while pushing his prisoner’s back and chest down into the table. As he pressed himself against the entrance of his desire, wanting nothing more in life than to plunge home with a fierce rush, some still-rational voice in his brain reminded him to take it easy. But the crazed demon screaming beneath him was contradicting his cautious intentions.

       "Do it! Do it hard, Hutch! Oh god, babe, give it to me good! Hurry!"

       All thought left Hutch then. What remained was pure instinct—one body knowing exactly what the other needed to make it right. It was always like that between them, this innate understanding of how much, how hard, how long. Their bodies communicated on a plane far removed from their minds, and both had learned a long time ago that it was best to just go along and enjoy the ride.

       Plunging into his lover with a heedless grunt, Hutch’s vision clouded as his head spun from the power of the sensation. Hot, tight muscles constricted in futile resistance, providing the most searing friction against Hutch’s throbbing shaft, before the hot, bottomless body finally yielded to welcome the visitor into the far reaches of his lover’s most intimate channel.

       His balls slapping hard against his partner’s firm ass, Hutch sank home with relish. Starsky let out a long groan as he strained against the cuffs, pushing back to make the connection even deeper. Hutch held his position as long as he could, savoring. But his cock was in control now and being static was not what it had in mind. His hips reared back of their own accord and then he was plunging in again...and again...and again.

       As always happened, Hutch became lost in the whirlwind that was loving this man. He needed to fill Starsky with everything he had, everything he was. He needed to take own keep him there beneath himself until he made certain that Starsky would never want to leave.

       And beneath him, he was. Starsky could go nowhere, do nothing other than accept the love Hutch had to offer. Bound to the table, hips a prisoner of Hutch’s relentless grasp, Starsky could do nothing but submit. He had to take the love Hutch offered. More importantly though, Starsky wanted it...wanted it bad. The curly head was thrashing from side to side as he demanded more while straining whatever muscles he still had control of to meet each of Hutch’s pounding thrusts.

       Neither one of them was going to be able to hold out much longer, Hutch recognized foggily. His own balls were so tight now it felt possible that the semen would just shatter them and burst forth through his skin rather than taking the time to travel the regular route. Wanting to make sure they made this trip together, Hutch released his vise-grip on one hip and brought that hand under his partner to encase Starsky’s furious erection. At the same time, he shifted his position slightly. Focusing his single shred of coherency, he timed his moves with experienced precision, diving deep to nail his lover’s prostate at the same moment he stropped Starsky’s heavy, leaking penis.

       Starsky let out a wail that rocked the entire table as he fell forward, shaking limbs unable to balance him. Hutch moved with him, keeping his target within reach as he repeated the strokes, driving his lover over the edge from within and without simultaneously.

       They fell into a rhythm that would fast become their undoing. He could almost feel the semen traveling into Starsky’s cock as the walls that surrounded him tightened maddeningly. The howl he heard this time was his own as his cock took over completely, pumping and thrusting as his seed rushed forth from his body to anoint his lover and seal them in the most intimate of bonds. Starsky’s erection was thrusting too, hard into Hutch’s hand with a force that nearly unbalanced the blond. His lover’s body convulsed around him and beneath him and for a few glorious moments they rode out the storm completely together.

       When the storm clouds finally dissipated, Hutch found himself laying flat against his partner’s back where he had fallen when his knees gave out. He didn’t move for a while...couldn’t move. All he could do was lie there and listen to the mingled sounds of their fractured breathing. It took a while for him to even remember where they were. In fact, he was a bit startled to feel the hard red felt beneath his legs.

       Oh shit...! Huggy’s customized pool table.

       Raising himself, he slid gently off his prone partner who hadn’t exhibited any signs of movement. He attempted to assess the area beneath Starsky’s body, foolheartedly hoping that somehow he had had the wherewithal to remember to catch the evidence of their illicit tryst with his hand—but of course he hadn’t. He’d been too far gone for that. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even have a clear recollection of how they had ended up in this position. The last thing he remembered clearly was how he’d missed his last shot—and why. After that, a Starsky-induced haze had fallen over him, clouding all reason and common sense. Everything that was practical and level-headed had deserted him in those moments, leaving him at the mercy of the primal fervor that his lover could incite in a matter of seconds. It embarrassed him at times that Starsky had that power over him, but there never seemed to be anything he could do about it. And besides—he wasn’t sure he wanted to.

       Seeing the trailing edges of white sticky liquid drying into the already torn and abused felt, Hutch got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He had no idea how they were going to explain this one to Huggy —"Starsky insisted the table needed a dramatic white stripe?"— but the thought of two one-way tickets to Bolivia was becoming more and more appealing.

       Hutch knew he should be more panic-stricken than he was, but when he looked down at the beautiful, nearly nude body stretched out beside him, sweaty and spent from the passion of their encounter, it was hard to feel regretful. Deciding he could put off thinking too seriously about the consequences of this little pool match for at least a few more minutes, he bent down to plant a trail of tender kisses up Starsky’s spine, halting at the base of his neck, which he nuzzled gently.

       "Hey, you okay?" he whispered against the damp skin.

       "Mmmmmmmm." That sated sound was the only response from the limp form on the table.

       Hutch moved his lips against a curl-covered ear and spoke softly. "I love you."

       "M’too," was the answering mumble.

   Hutch stroked the side of Starsky’s face that wasn’t pressed against the felt. Starsky’s eyes remained closed, his lips slightly parted. Though Hutch loved every one of the animated movements and gestures of this man who seemed to be in a constant state of perpetual motion, his heart always melted at the sight of this quiet, subdued Starsky. He often woke up early just to watch his lover sleep, mesmerized by his peaceful beauty.

       "Hey, plannin’ to take these cuffs off anytime soon, or are you just gonna leave me chained here forever?"

       The thought of his not-always-so-cooperative lover perpetually stretched out and helplessly awaiting his pleasure against the color he seemed made for was not an unpleasant one. He found himself considering the purchase of red satin sheets for home. Hutch smiled. "I don’t know. I kinda like you like this...all laid out to do with as I please."

       Starsky chuckled lightly. "I thought you just did that. Don’t you ever get enough?"

       "Of you? Never."


       There was something about the tone of the word and the devious smile that accompanied it that gnawed at the back of Hutch’s mind. Shrugging off the momentary concern, he slid off the pool table and began fumbling around to pull the pants pooled ludicrously around his ankles back up over his rump. Tucking his semi-tired member back inside, he zipped half-way up before digging through his pockets for the handcuff key. Walking back towards the foot of the pool table, Hutch glanced around at the disaster area they had made of Huggy’s bar.

       "I guess I better let you loose, though," Hutch teased as he fit the key into the cuff binding Starsky’s left wrist. "Otherwise, how are you going to clean up this mess you made?" He laughed lightly, hoping Starsky would go along with the humor of it all.

       He expected any of a myriad of responses to the taunt, but the accepting smile and quiet laugh were a pleasant surprise. He must’ve done a better job of satisfying his lover than he thought. Half the time, Starsky’s first orgasm left him wired, ready for even more action. His stamina, at times, could be scary. Of course, it was late, and they’d had a really long day at work... Believing his lover was more exhausted from their strenuous encounter than he had thought, Hutch quickly moved to release the other handcuff. When Starsky continued to lie still despite his new freedom, Hutch became concerned.

       "You sure you’re okay?" Leaving the cuffs still attached to the pool table, he reached for the wrists that were scuffed up but otherwise seemed unbruised, and gently massaged them.

       "I’m fine, Hutch," Starsky insisted. There was no trace of distress in his voice.

       "Here, let me help you up." Hutch clasped Starsky’s hands in his.

       Again his partner didn’t move. Hutch waited patiently for several long minutes before Starsky finally stirred and began to inch himself up onto his knees. Hutch had to release his grip on his lover’s hands to allow Starsky to shift himself into a sitting position. His movements were stilted as he tried to stretch his abused arms and legs, but he didn’t seem to be in any real pain. Still, Hutch couldn’t keep himself from worrying. His greatest fear was that one day he was going to go too far and his reckless sexual appetite for this man might actually end up hurting him.

       "I’m okay," Starsky assured him, reading the look burning in his eyes. "I’m not made of glass, y’know. I thought you learned a long time ago that I can take it as good as you can dish it out. Just like you can when I go a little bananas."

       That mischievous grin was back and its appearance comforted Hutch. He moved to the side of the table to help Starsky down. Finding it too awkward to wrestle with the jeans entangling his feet, Starsky unceremoniously kicked them off. Leave it to Starsky to have few qualms about marching around a public bar in the nude. He moved easily into Hutch’s embrace when his feet hit the floor. Wrapping his arms around Hutch’s waist, Starsky held on tightly as he pressed his lips against the blond’s ear.

       "Mmmm, Hutch, that was—incredible." The sound that followed those words was a purr.

       "You’re incredible," Hutch whispered, enjoying the feel of his lover’s naked body pressed so tightly against his. The strange setting—seeing Starsky so incongruously bare here in Huggy’s bar—made it all the more erotic, and Hutch was amazed to feel his cock go semi-hard. His hands roved his lover’s sweat-moist skin, sliding over the lush ass, stroking the long spine. He could smell Starsky’s musk even over the familiar bar-smells of the Pits, and the scent made him harden even more. Would there ever come a day when he would feel he had gotten his fill of this man?

       Not in this lifetime.

       Starsky’s left hand cupped Hutch’s chin, pulling his head back just as sensuous lips covered his mouth in a numbing kiss.

       When their lips finally parted, Starsky smiled straight into Hutch’s eyes. "That was the only thing that was missing. Tasting that beautiful mouth of yours. Other than that, it was sheer nirvana. Remember that, Hutch. I got no complaints about the sex."

       Hutch peered at the face he knew so well, puzzling over that last comment. There was something there that he just couldn’t quite put his finger on. Before he had a chance to think about it too deeply, though, Starsky’s mouth was on his again, his bare body rubbing against Hutch blatantly. This kiss lingered twice as long as the last and when it was over, Hutch was having a hard time thinking clearly about anything. He was erect again—not semi, not half-way, not partially. He was hard. And hot. How did Starsky do this to him?

       His partner pulled back from him then, but the light was still alive in his eyes. "Man, I sure have worked up a thirst. Why don’t you go get us a couple of beers while I survey the damage around here?"

       "Sure, no problem." Hutch smiled as he leaned forward to grab one last, sweet kiss. He could wait, he told himself. Even though Starsky was half-hard himself. They had too much to do. And he wanted to get his lover in bed next time, take his time. It had been awhile since they’d loved away an entire weekend, but Hutch knew they were ready for it, needed it—he saw them spending hours just kissing, touching, stimulating one another, then finally, fucking each other raw, lying in sated delirium in each others’ arms just so they could kiss and love some more. His eyes lingered for a moment over the body that he could never look at enough. Tearing his gaze away at last, he turned and headed towards the bar, a satisfied feeling of well-being and delicious anticipation permeating his entire body.

       So, he was in no way prepared for the bulldozer that came up behind him.

       Starsky’s forceful shove sent him sailing towards the bar where he landed chest-first, arms splayed across its surface. Before he could even figure out what had hit him, Starsky grabbed his hips and pulled him back. Fighting for both balance and escape, Hutch’s flailing arms and grasping hands cleared the surface of the bar in one klutzy swoop as a line of glasses and coasters the waitresses had left for the kitchen staff crashed to the floor.

       His body careened towards the tables, his arm catching one of them and turning it and its contents over with him as he landed in an undignified lump on the floor. Shaking his head to clear it, he looked up to see Starsky hovering over him with a determined leer. His partner was more than half-hard now, way more. His hands were balled into fists, the tension in his body plainly evident as he thrust a finger in Hutch’s direction.

       "If you think for one second your cheating, sneaky, underhanded, go-back-on-your-word ass is getting out of helping me clean up this mess, you have another thing coming."

       Starsky’s eyes darted around, settling on a nearby pool cue that lay on the floor. As he reached to grab it, Hutch scrambled to his feet, hands up in a placating gesture.

       "Now hang on a second, Starsk. Just calm down. You admitted yourself that you were the one who cheated..."

       Hutch tried backing away but he stumbled over the table leg and lost his balance. Swinging his arms wildly to keep from crashing to the floor again, he had little chance to defend himself from the advancing Starsky.

       "I was coerced into saying that," Starsky reminded him, as he darted around behind the blond, "...something you’re gonna learn about firsthand."

       Starsky could move like lightning when he was after something, and unfortunately for Hutch, he was the prey this time. The dark-haired detective got in close to Hutch’s back, then swung the cue stick across the blond’s chest, grabbing both ends of it to pin the taller man’s upper arms. Pulling back hard on the stick, Starsky yanked Hutch against his furred chest then took a few steps back, dragging the startled blond along with him.

       Trying to get his wits about him in the frenzy of the ambush, Hutch shifted his weight, pushing forward against the wooden barrier that was confining him to his revenge-driven partner. With a loud snap, the cue stick shattered under the force. Starsky heard it, though. As the pieces of stick tumbled to the floor, the smaller man reversed himself, driving forward against Hutch, throwing his weight against his lover and toppling the awkward cop chest-first across the nearest table, which rocked precariously from the combined weight of the combatants.

       The wind knocked out of him, Hutch landed face down across the table, his partner’s bulk pinning him across it.

       "By the time I’m through with you," Starsky goaded in Hutch’s ear, "you’ll be beggin’ me to let you clean this whole place by yourself, just so I’ll let you come."

       The words were punctuated by the length of hard, hot steel pressing forebodingly between his rear cheeks. Hutch felt a shiver course through him as his knees wobbled unsteadily. His arms lurched, as he grasped the table edge for balance. Starsky rode him as confidently as any bull-busting bronc rider.

       "You ain’t goin’ anywhere, baby blue," Starsky warned him, the soft hair on his chest rubbing against Hutch’s broad back. God, he loved the way that felt—No! He couldn’t give in! Not now! He couldn’t yield to Starsky’s one-upmanship. He’d have to hold out, stay strong, be firm– Actually, right now being firm was one of his biggest problems.

       Which Starsky quickly figured out. Hutch felt that wicked left hand trail provocatively beneath him, felt those terrible fingertips, those givers of torment and delight, play around his half-zipped fly. He shut his eyes in trembling anticipation. His erection was already up like a damned flagpole, twisted uncomfortably in his jeans. He was aching. Swollen. Needy. And Starsky—damn him—knew it. But he could hold out! Of course he could. He was a grown man! He was– he was– helpless!

       "You’re sweatin’ already, blue eyes," Starsky crooned right in his ear. "Worryin’ ’bout what am I gonna do, how it’s gonna go. There’s that part o’ you that hates it when I have the upper hand, and yet loves it all at the same time." Then that devil tongue reached out, ran a wet signature around the very edge of Hutch’s blush-red ear, and the tremble ran straight from that nerve clear down to his balls, which drew up hard.

       Oh shit, he thought, feeling the sweat bead along his brow, you’re in for it now.

       "That’s right," Starsky murmured, still rubbing his bare, swollen cock slowly, suggestively against Hutch’s denim-clad rear, "you love it." He licked the ear again, slowly, in between the taunting phrases whispered against the wet flesh, just so Starsky’s hot breath could blow against that ear. "You hate being dominated, but you love being under me." Tender licks eased the painful truth. "You hate when I beat you at your own game, but you love it when the payoff makes me hard for you." A gentle nibble made a course of precum bubble up through his painful cock and he felt himself blush harder as it soaked through his jeans. Magnetically, Starsky’s toying fingers were drawn to the same spot. "Mmmmmm. Getting wet for me. I like that. Love it, in fact. Wish I could lick it clean–"

       Hutch gasped, the imagery making his cock pulse and his eyes roll up. "You can!" he whispered back, forgetting his dignity, forgetting his plans to hold out, resist. "Please, Starsk...your mouth!"

       "Uhn-uh, big boy, can’t happen. I let you up, I’ll be back in restraints before I catch my breath. No way, schweetheart. Too bad, too, ’cause I could make you helpless just by doin’ that. Lickin’ your jeans clean." He ran his fingers over the wet crown, tracing the outline of the head the way he would with his tongue. At the same time his tongue tip wrote a vivid scenario against the shell of Hutch’s ear. The blond moaned helplessly and pushed back against the heavy cock pressed against him. "Wrappin’ my mouth around that monster of yours. Coolin’ off alla that heat with my tongue." Starsky lapped at the ear harder, wetter, going deeper even as his grasped Hutch’s erection tight through his jeans. The blond lurched at the increasing sensation, making the table dance beneath him. Starsky never budged.

       "Yeah, you love that, you love watchin’ me do it, perchin’ on my knees in front of you, takin’ alla you into my mouth–"

       "Damn you!" Hutch swore, his imagination cranking everything up ten notches. "Just do it! I won’t move, won’t try to get away–"

       "No," Starsky hissed in his ear. "Just think about me doin’ it. Wish for it. Imagine it." Starsky wet his left palm with his tongue, as his right hand finally eased Hutch’s zipper the rest of the way down. Even holding him prisoner, though, Starsky’s consideration never wavered. He hooked his thumb inside the zipper as his other fingers eased it down, making sure the metal teeth didn’t snag Hutch’s tender flesh. That simple gesture of love made Hutch’s heart swell, and he shut his eyes, unable to understand how things could still be so intense with them even after all this time. He felt so lucky.

       Then his cock surged free of its confinement, and he felt even luckier. Starsky’s wet palm stroked him so slow, so sweet, he sagged in sheer abandon.

       "You like that?" Starsky purred in the ear he kept tormenting.

       Hutch could only moan. What other answer was there?

       Starsky’s right hand came from the rear between his legs, rubbing the tight mound of his testicles through his pants and Hutch could do nothing but spread his legs wider, all the better to feel, all the better to receive...

       "Yeah, you love it all right," Starsky murmured, clearly loving the doing just as much.

       What’s wrong with that? Hutch thought dazedly, gripping the table edge for stability. I love everything you do to me. Everything. I’m a pushover for you and you know it. Damn you, Starsky. But there was no heat in it now, only the heat of his passion.

       Starsky’s lips trailed over Hutch’s jaw and throat to the back of his neck. Hutch could only sigh and push back against the hardness that wanted him, even as he thrust gently into the wet palm that loved him so perfectly, so easily.

       "You love your loving, don’t’cha?" Starsky demanded. "You love to have me do ya, love it when I’m on you. And your lovin’ it makes me crazy. You know that, too, don’t’cha?"

       Hutch smiled and let Starsky see it. Sure I love it. I love makin’ you crazed. Just like you’re not happy unless I lose it completely. That’s the only reason you fight it, to push me to lunacy. That’s the way you love me best. To Starsky, he said, "I love it all. You know that. I love you."

       Now Starsky had to moan, a soft, helpless sound, as though it were Hutch pinning him to the table, torturing his cock, using his mouth to inflame and excite. Another surge of precum leaked from his impatient organ and he shuddered. He hated when Starsky got like this, dragging it out forever. He hated it almost as much as he loved it.

       "So wet," Starsky whispered. "Wet for me." He started tugging at Hutch’s waistband, yanking and pulling the jeans down over the blond’s broad backside. Once he got them past the muscled rear, he let them drop around Hutch’s ankles without notice, trapping his partner’s feet as effectively as leg irons.

       Hutch relished the feel of Starsky’s heated groin pressing against his now bare flesh, felt the skin of their legs brushing against each other. It made him wild, made him impossibly hot. He pushed back against Starsky, demanding, imploring.

       "So eager," Starsky taunted, even as he stroked Hutch’s big cock harder. He dripped more precum and Starsky collected it like nectar, then brought his hand back to Hutch’s rear. "So eager, aren’t you?"

       Hutch couldn’t lie about his needs, not now, not when they were so close to being fulfilled. "Yes! Yes! Starsk!"

       "I love it when you sound like that," Starsky confessed. "So hot for me. So needy for what only I can give you. Ain’t that right, beautiful blue eyes?" His fingers, drenched with Hutch’s own liquor, stroked teasingly around the blond’s hungry, clenching anus. Like the trained thing it was, his anus relaxed, opened, needing so very much more. "Yeah..." Starsky purred, petting it so very gently, massaging Hutch’s lubricant into it, letting it help his hand slide so seductively around the very gate of his pleasure.

       Hutch gasped and writhed on the table, knowing what that hand could do, how helpless it would soon render him. His knuckles were white as he gripped for balance even as his hips moved back and forth in rhythm with the petting hand.

       He was so hot he couldn’t stop leaking, and Starsky didn’t waste a drop, using it to stroke Hutch into a frenzy, bringing it back to his ass to make him wet and slick.

       "So wet, so wet for me," Starsky kept purring.

       All Hutch could do was sweat, and writhe, and pant, and drip, wanting things he couldn’t articulate, needing something he didn’t dare ask for, remembering somewhere that he should hold out, but for what, he no longer knew. He didn’t want to hold out. He wanted to come. Or maybe he wanted never to come. He didn’t know. He just knew about the now, this second, the instant of this stroke of his cock, this massage of his ass. He only knew that, wanted that, yet, wanted more. And Starsky gave him more.

       Gently, he slid the first finger in, and Hutch remembered what he really wanted. And this was only the beautiful preliminary. "Yes!" he breathed, loving the invasion. Starsky inside me. The ultimate delight. Starsky inside me.

       "So wet, even inside, just for me," Starsky told him, and moved the finger in and out and around and in and out... Hutch’s legs turned to butter, his brain to liquid, as he started dissolving inside out.

       As Starsky placed a line of kisses along Hutch’s spine, he moved his hand and inserted a second finger. Hutch thought for a second he was going to come and the shudder that racked his body made the table dance. The wicked hand knew it somehow and played it for all it was worth. Oh, god. Oh, god. He’d never be able to last at this rate. He’d come before Starsky could even get it in him. No, no, he didn’t want that. But before he could say anything, Starsky’s probing fingers found his pleasure center and pressed just so against his prostate. Hutch nearly imploded.

       "Ohmigodohmigodohmigod," he gasped against the table, as he felt the surge gathering in his balls.

       "It’s good, isn’t it?" Starsky whispered against his back. His breath was hot against Hutch’s skin, he was hungry, needy, too. Why was he making him wait?

       "So good!" Hutch blurted, unable to stop himself. "Starsk, come on, you gotta fuck me. Come on!"

       A wicked chuckle was his only answer. The fingers drove into him, tortured him, stroked his prostate with an electric touch. He was pushing back like a cat in heat. This was not what he needed, not what he wanted. "Starsky!"

       Another laugh, then, "You gettin’ close?"

       He bit his tongue before spilling the truth. Something warned him to stop in time. He gritted his teeth, shaking his head in denial.

       Starsky’s right hand abandoned his cock, as his partner abruptly brought the flat of his palm down hard against Hutch’s bare butt. The crack of the slap was like a gunshot ricocheting around the empty bar. Hutch yelped in surprise and shock and his bereft cock leapt at the sharp sensation.

       "Still lyin’!" Starsky criticized. "You don’t learn. You think after all this time I don’t know you, know everything about you?"

       Hutch was quivering from sensation overload as Starsky continued to finger-fuck his ass, torturing his prostate with his expert touch, even as his other hand rested dangerously on the hot mark his slap had left.

       "Answer me!" He slapped his ass again, and the sudden pain jolted through Hutch, tingling through his nerves. He would kill him for this. Someday. His knees shook.

       "Okay! Okay! You know everything! Everything! Damn it, Starsky! You’re making me crazy and you know it!"

       "And you deserve it! Lyin’! Cheatin’! Pretendin’ you ain’t dancin’ on the edge. I can’t trust you, Hutch. You gotta pay for that."

       He tensed all over, waiting for another slap on the ass, and swearing he would kill the little bastard if he did it. But instead, he only felt his partner fumble with something, then heard the dull clink of Starsky’s Chinese coins, the ones he kept tied on the leather thong around his–

  Hutch looked back over his shoulder, realizing that Starsky had deftly untied the thong with one hand, and had dumped the coins unceremoniously onto the floor. Hutch blinked. What the hell did the little trouble-maker think he was going to do with–?

       That quickly, Starsky pulled the thong underneath Hutch and looped it around the base of his cock, pulling it up under his balls. Realizing what his lover was attempting, Hutch reared up, trying, too late, to dislodge his rider. Starsky just chuckled, having all the leverage he needed to use against the sprawled, spread-legged, weakened-with-lust victim beneath him. In seconds, the leather thong had been wrapped snugly around Hutch’s hard-on and balls making a perfect cock ring. The pressure of the leather tying him was impossible to deny, impossible to resist. It felt wicked and decadent, erotic and dangerous. His cock surged against its bonds, his balls drawing up tighter. He’d never be able to come with that thing entrapping his blood this way. He kill Starsky, he swore. He’d kill him.

       "Now, I don’t have to trust you," Starsky said smugly. "The only dancin’ you’ll do now is at my tune, big boy. You wanna come—you’ll have to ask for it."

       "Starsky!" It was a strangled sound, emitted between tightly clenched teeth.

       His answer was that terrible hand, teasing him, tormenting him, torturing his prostate with more pleasure than he could imagine enduring.

       "Talk nice," Starsky taunted. "Say sweet things. Maybe if you’re good, I’ll fuck you. Maybe if you’re even better, I’ll let you come."

       Hutch shook with outrage and excitement. But the fingers quickly tamed him, and in seconds they ruled him, ordered his world, demanded his obedience, his worship. The pleasure they gave him couldn’t be denied as they stroked, and probed, plunged and pummeled him with his own desire.

       "Starsky..." The word now nothing more than the whisper of a plea. "...Love you...Starsk...oh, god...!"

       "Better. Much better." The incubus riding him toyed with his aching, hungry cock. "Man, you’re hard. I really needa piece’a you, Hutch."

       Hearing the tension in his master’s voice, the pet offered the only thing he could. "I’m yours. Take it then."

       Starsky groaned and Hutch shut his eyes at the pleasure that gave him. The hand was wonderful, but there was so much more this man could give him.

       He nearly panicked when the hand abandoned him. He was wide open, as wet as a woman...he needed his lover–

       He must’ve whimpered in protest because Starsky quickly soothed him. "I’m here. I’m here. Don’t tense up. It’s comin’."

       That very word made Hutch shiver. And then he felt the blunt probe, the warm sword nestling against the hungriest part of him. Please, his mind begged, but he bit his lip in fear of revealing too much.

       Starsky stroked his anus with his crown and Hutch could feel Starsky’s warm fluid leaking onto him. He shuddered and willed himself to relax. Surely, there wasn’t a tense muscle left in his body.

       Until Starsky murmured, "Come on, Hutch, ask for it."

       You...miserable...tormenting...son-of-a... A choked protest was all he could manage.

       "Ask nice," Starsky taunted, and pushed gently against Hutch’s hungry port. The sensation of that soft, hard flesh entering him just slightly, just enough to tantalize, nearly made Hutch faint. Starsky withdrew, taking the pleasure with him, then rocked forward just enough to give Hutch another taste.

       "You can’t keep me on this table forever," Hutch warned through his teeth. But even he could hear the quaver in his voice.

       "Maybe not, but I’m willing to worry about that later. All you gotta worry about is now. Ask nice, Hutch. I could keep this up all night." He pulled back, rocked forward, but not nearly enough.

       Hutch thought he’d have a breakdown. It was too good, it was too evil. How could his lover treat him this way? How could he get him to do it all night? He was clawing at the table now, the thong around his privates making his cock pulse in time with his heart. It was enough.

       "Please! Oh, god, please! Starsk, do it. Fuck me. Please."

       His partner moaned above him and nearly collapsed on his back. "Oh, yeah, that’s nice, baby blue, so nice. It’s yours. It’s all yours now." And slowly, yet solidly, Starsky shoved into Hutch’s body.

       If he hadn’t been bound, Hutch would’ve exploded on the spot. He moaned low and long, taking in the wonderful spear, opening up for the incredible pleasure of it. Starsky. Taking him. Making him his. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, until he felt that sweat-damp groin press tight against his ass.

       "I wish I was bigger so I could get deeper in you," Starsky whispered in his ear.

       Hutch tightened convulsively around the man inside him, his words driving him wild. "Too big now! Too deep!" Hutch insisted.

       Starsky slapped his ass, not as hard this time, just reminding him who was boss. "Still a liar. Lie some more. I like smacking you."

       "I know you do," Hutch grunted.

       Starsky started moving then, pulling out carefully, thrusting back in. The tempo was slow, the fucking sublime. Hutch wanted to melt into the table. The front of Starsky’s thighs rubbed against the backs of his. "Damn, that’s good, so good, Hutch, you’re so tight around me."

       Hutch tried to tighten down more just to please him, and the sensation rocked them both, and made Hutch see stars.

       "You’re so bad," Starsky warned, sliding both hands beneath his love. "So good to me." He encased Hutch’s agonized member in both hands and tortured it terribly, stroking, rubbing, rolling the over-sensitized testicles until Hutch wanted to chew a piece of wood out of the table, all the while Starsky in him, pumping, fucking, making him want to scream. Finally, he did.

       "Goddammit! I can’t take it. Oh, god, Starsky, untie me, let me come. You son-of-a-bitch! Do it!"

       "Need it bad, don’t’cha?" Starsky whispered, and the familiar words bounced around Hutch’s brain, desperately trying to make a connection. Where had he heard them before? "Need it bad enough to agree to anything, do anything, just for the release, right?"

       Too late, Hutch remembered his own tormenting words to Starsky on the pool table. Too late, he remembered Starsky telling him how he’d been coerced, and how Hutch was destined to learn all about coercion. He closed his eyes.

       "Y’know," Starsky reminded him, panting against his ear, his hips still driving his cock wickedly, wonderfully, in and out of Hutch’s all-too-willing body, "I could just keep doin’ what I’m doin’, and Hutch, I gotta tell ya, I could have me one spectacular orgasm—while you just get to lie there helpless, tied up like a turkey waitin’ for roastin’. Right now, your cock’s so hard, it feels like a snakeskin gettin’ ready to split. Must hurt like hell. You ever have blue balls, Hutch? It’s a real bitch. Goes on for days–"

       He couldn’t take it. He cracked. "ALL RIGHT! All right! I’ll do it. I’ll do anything, anything, just please—oh, god, Starsky, you’re killing me, please do it, let me come."

       "What’ll you do, Hutch? Gotta spell it out. ‘Anything’ covers too much ground."

       The blond pressed his forehead against the table and tried to figure out how he could hate something that felt this wonderful. Or want so much to murder the man he loved with all his heart. "The bar. I’ll help you clean the bar."

       "Not good enough."

       Hutch bellowed like a bull in rut, but it didn’t matter. His cock was still bound tight like a genie in a bottle with a permanent cork. "I’ll-I’ll clean it myself, you miserable fuck. I’ll do it. I’ll clean the bar myself, you bastard. Oh, you wait, you wait..."

       "No, you’re the one who’s waiting, lover," he pumped in especially hard to make his point and that special pleasure made Hutch gasp. "Now, say please. ‘Please let me clean the bar, Starsky, all by myself because I’m a lyin’, cheatin’, sneaky, goin’-back-on-my-word turkey.’ Say please, Hutch."

       He would die before this was over. He would never get to kill Starsky, because he would die first. The first man on the planet to die from imploding testicles. He wouldn’t have to clean the bar because there wouldn’t be a bar anymore, just a little blond mushroom cloud —

       Starsky slapped his ass, rocking Hutch’s world, making him come all undone. "You like that," his inquisitor realized.

       Oh, god, don’t let him know that. Not that!

       Starsky slapped him again, the sensation making him roar until finally his voice burst forth against his will, "Please! Oh, god, Starsky, please, please, please–" He’d already lost all his dignity, what the hell was he fighting for?

       "Mmmmmm," Starsky rumbled, "oh, yeah, oh, yeah, that sounds sweet to me." He nipped Hutch’s shoulder blade, then kissed the bite. "You ready for this?"

       No, Hutch thought trembling, knowing it was going to be bad. Starsky’s hands moved deftly over his abused erection, finding the ends of the thong, slowly, carefully unwrapping it, never pulling a single hair.

       "Easy now, Hutch, hold still. Go easy," Starsky warned, meaning it, as he unwrapped the last of the leather.

       Hutch cried out as the flood of trapped blood surged forth, feeling like nothing he’d ever experienced. It was like a white hot burst of pleasure, like the purest rush of desire. And still Starsky was inside him. So, Hutch knew he was feeling it, too, feeling Hutch ripple around him. Absently, Starsky was stroking his red slap spot and that was making Hutch crazy, too. There was no holding back anymore. The floodgates had been opened.

       "Ready, boy?" Starsky whispered, and for the first time, Hutch could hear the need in his voice.

       He needs me, Hutch realized joyfully. He needs me!

       "Give it up, boy. Give it to me." Starsky was begging, Hutch realized. Starsky needed him just as badly as he was needed. It was a wonderful realization.

       As Starsky’s deft, magical hands stroked Hutch’s swollen flesh, Hutch felt everything suddenly burst inside him, like an abrupt supernova of pleasure. His body convulsed and he shouted out loud, as his essence burst forth, spraying like a fire hose, baptizing the underside of the table and the floor. As he did, Starsky released a keening cry and tried to climb up Hutch’s back, his feet leaving the ground. He gripped Hutch’s cock so tight that Hutch came again, spurting wildly, and the two of them convulsed like an animal in seizure, coming and crying out and coming some more. Their voices mingled and subsided until they were left murmuring each other’s names, even as they clutched each other’s hands, needing to connect in every way they could.

       Starsky collapsed over him like a dead man, and Hutch realized his lover’s feet were still not touching the ground, that he was supporting them both on the shakiest legs in the universe. He patted the loyal table that held them. Sure don’t make tables like this anymore, he thought. He would’ve giggled, but he was just too tired. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this good in his life. He was almost middle-aged by some standards, but when Starsky and he got to fucking—they were teenagers again. He grinned, loving his life, and loving his lover–

       Who finally managed to stir above him. Starsky made no attempt to move, but did manage to ask in a slurred voice, "You gonna kill me?"

       Hutch tried to nod his head, but couldn’t do it. "Oh, yeah," he assured his partner.

       "When?" Starsky wondered, as if he needed to know so he could start packing.

       Hutch couldn’t come up with an answer. "In my next life, I guess," he finally admitted.

       "Oh," Starsky said. "It can wait." Then he held perfectly still as if he could sleep like this, nude, in a bar, blanketing Hutch who was only half lying on a table for support.

       "That was the best ever," Hutch said conversationally. "Wasn’t it?"

       "Oh, yeah," Starsky confirmed, weakly patting the buttock he’d spanked. "The best ever."

       Hutch closed his eyes. It was the best, the very best. Loving Starsky was the very best thing that had ever happened to him.

       Which was why he was so unprepared when the very worst thing that could happen suddenly did.


       At the outraged sound of Huggy’s shocked voice, Starsky jumped so bad he nearly leapfrogged over Hutch’s trapped body. Then Hutch remembered—Starsky was completely nude—Hutch was merely completely exposed!


       At the moment the answer was, scrambling for cover. Starsky lurched off of Hutch like a jackrabbit on speed, but it didn’t help, because his pants were completely at the other end of the bar on the pool table. He must’ve realized that because he was frantically yanking Hutch to his feet, tugging at his pants, and for a moment Hutch feared Starsky was trying to steal his jeans to hide his own nudity. Hutch knew there was no chance in hell that he’d ever get Starsky’s jeans up his long legs, so he tried to force his body to cooperate just so he could keep his own pants. But his legs were numb, and he had that miserable feeling of total discombobulation that he always had after sex as he and Starsky tugged frantically at his jeans as though the one pair could cover them both.

       "It’s not what it seems, Huggy," Starsky was babbling, never releasing Hutch’s waistband.

       Hutch had to stare at his lover in wide-eyed shock—what did he mean, it’s not what it seems? It was worse than it seemed! Did he think he could con his way out of this around Huggy? Hutch glanced at the bar owner’s furious expression and suddenly began wishing that they could. That was just about the time Hutch realized that Starsky wasn’t trying to steal his pants, he was trying to help Hutch pull them up so he could then hide behind the big blond who would at least be semi-dressed. Hutch kept tucking his sticky, half-flaccid cock down inside his jeans, but the damned thing was worse than a drunken snake and kept falling back out every time Starsky tugged at his back belt loops to pull the pants higher.

       "Will you stop that?" Hutch snapped at Starsky impatiently.

       Slipping behind him to hide his nudity, Starsky released the jeans, but only for a minute, as if he had to have something to handle in an attempt to hide himself. Hutch managed to get his organ inside finally and zipped up his jeans—as if his dignity could be that easily restored.

       "I can’t believe you two were doin’ what you were obviously doin’! In my bar? On one’a my tables?" Huggy was outraged, his face dark with anger. He wasn’t teasing this time. "Have you two gone outta your minds? When I drove past and saw the lights on, I just figured you forgot to shut’em off. The blinds were drawn. The closed sign up. Everything else looked just fine. I thought, ‘Let me just stop and shut off the lights.’ That’s all. Just shut off the lights! And then I step into hell." He stalked toward the pool table to fetch Starsky’s jeans, grabbing them up without glancing at the felt that was his particular point of pride. He pointed a finger at the sturdy, faithful table that had served him and Starsky so wonderfully, but right now, Huggy didn’t seem to appreciate its qualities. "I’m’a hafta throw that table out! You think I could serve food and drink on somethin’ you been–been–copulatin’ on?" He flung the jeans at Hutch.

       The blond felt his heart turn to ice as Huggy leaned a hand on one of the table’s side rails. Please, god, don’t let him notice the felt. Not yet. Not right now. He caught the jeans handily.

       Behind him, Starsky only pressed his forehead between Hutch’s shoulder blades and groaned.

       "Put these on," Hutch hissed at him, irritably.

       "Damn straight ‘put these on,’" Huggy demanded, jabbing a finger now in Starsky’s direction. The cop jumped to comply, wrestling the tight pants on in record time, even getting them buttoned straight. Hutch was impressed. Starsky wasn’t often this rattled.

       "If you think I wanna spend any time lookin’ at your hairy, colorless asses you’re mistaken. I know the two of you think there ain’t no booty in all the world as pretty as yours, but–" He was glancing around the bar as he ranted, and finally noticed a few cue balls in various locations on the floor. "–you’re sadly mistaken! I might even have to sell this whole bar now. God knows I ain’t never gonna be able to walk in that front door again–" his eyes trailed finally over the crimson pool table.

       Hutch couldn’t help it. He took a step back. Starsky moved with him in perfect sync. They took another step back. Then another. Maybe if they moved slow...?

       "–without seein’ the Nightmare On Sixth Street–your two big shinin’ butts starin’ me right in my face as I opened my own front door..." His gaze suddenly took in the immensity of the offenses to the brilliantly colored pool table felt. His words trailed off into a quiet stutter. First he spied the handcuffs still attached to the pockets. His large, expressive mouth moved and twisted, but nothing came out. Then he saw the Rorschach blotch of white against the red, and the torn place.

       The two cops took a few more steps back, thinking they just might make it to the back room before—


       Hutch actually flinched and felt an echoing tremble from behind him.

       "Oh, shit," Starsky muttered.

       Huggy must’ve somehow heard him. Who knew the Pits had such good acoustics when it was empty? "That’s about the only thing that ain’t been done to this table!"

       "We’ll pay for a new felt, Huggy," Hutch said quickly.

       "You mean you will," Starsky mumbled behind him. "Felt’s on you, bro’."

       Hutch shut his eyes for a second and regretted bitterly that you could only kill someone once. "In fact, Starsky was so upset over what he did to your table," Hutch said quickly, moving sidewise to avoid the painful butt pinch he knew was about to be delivered—and to that spot, "that he said he’d pay whatever it cost to get the guy in here first thing in the morning to do the repairs."

       "You’re payin’ for the felt," Starsky insisted softly behind him.

       "Oh, you’re both payin’ for the felt all right," Huggy assured them. "And you’re payin’ for the disinfecting, too. You think I don’t know what that is?" He pointed one long, imperious finger at a telltale white stain. "You think I got to be this age on these streets without recognizing the obvious? On my pool table! My pool table? You two are sick. Sick, twisted, and demented."

       By this time, he was stalking them around the bar. They were hampered by having to watch where they put their bare feet. Once Starsky nearly stepped on a broken glass and Hutch did step on a billiard ball and nearly crashed to the ground except for Starsky’s quick save.

       "That table will have to be sterilized, purified, and probably deloused. And to think that all I had to worry about when I left here was the phone!" Huggy was on a roll, now. "I want you to know that I’ve gotta buy those beer glasses by the case—that’s thirty-six," he informed them as he backed them into the kitchen. "That’s goin’ on your tab, too. An’ you think them billiard balls are gonna play right after bein’ bounced around the floor and encrusted with—don’t make me say it!—well, they won’t. A new set’a balls—not that you two need any, you got more than anyone could handle now—but that’s goin’ on your tab. Then there’s the pool cue, and a new table, and Hutchinson, you’d better hope your effluvia didn’t travel too far, ‘cause anything it touched is goin’ out with the trash, and you’ll be payin’ for that, too!"

       By this time, they had gotten fully into the kitchen, and Huggy finally got an eyeful of the sink. For a moment he actually went pale, and Hutch thought he might possibly faint.

       "What the hell happened–? No, don’t tell me. You let my bozo kitchen staff out the door before they finished. You let them out early." He shook his head in wonderment. "The two smartest street cops in L.A. How could you be so easily conned?"

       Hutch smiled and stepped away so Starsky could take center stage. If he was going to have to pay for pool table, Starsky could damned well take the heat for the kitchen. The blond looked at his lover and said, "Explain it to the man."

       This time, he did get pinched, and hard. He quickly moved out of reach.

       Starsky attempted to bat his eyelashes and look endearing, but one look at the glower on Huggy’s face squashed that. "Well, uh, I’m not sure exactly," Starsky prevaricated, "but it had, I dunno, somethin’ to do with the all-night bun factory–"

       Hutch never did get to watch Starsky bend over the sink. While Starsky was bent over the sink, scrubbing encrusted grease and baked-on grime from the mounds of dishes and cookware that had accumulated—who knew you had to use all this stuff just to serve food in a bar?—Hutch was busy sweeping up shattered glasses, righting overturned tables and chairs, picking up scattered clothing, loading one ejaculate-laden table into the Torino’s trunk, and taking the pool table apart to remove the felt. Huggy wasn’t about to let his cousin see what had happened to the felt. Hutch put that in the Torino, too. Someday, he knew they would laugh about this—maybe even tomorrow—and they might want a piece of that felt for a souvenir. And Starsky wouldn’t let him throw the table out. He was convinced he could find just the right place for it in their house. That worried Hutch considerably.

       But Starsky had already warned him. No pool tables. Never. Not ever. He couldn’t trust Hutch around them and they couldn’t afford to have it re-felted every week. And it would be silly to own a pool table, yet have to go to a bar to actually play a game. Hutch had agreed as they separated to their individual tasks.

       As Huggy sat grumbling in a corner, checking the day’s receipts, and the sun began to rise over the L.A. smog, Hutch wondered how long it would be before Starsky figured out whose turn it would next be to bend over the new table in their home. He could hear Starsky’s off-key singing just as he caught himself humming the same tune—"I’m Not In Love..." Even a dire look from Huggy couldn’t wipe the evening’s glory from his memories.

       Hutch thought about the table jammed into the trunk of the Torino—he couldn’t help but wonder how soon it would be before the all-night bun factory was back in business.

So love, just a crazy feeling
& Deep and hidden meaning, it’s true
And love takes some understanding
So don’t you go on breaking the rules
We’re counting 1-2-3
I’m writing "U 4 Me"
I’ll teach you endlessly
Games of love
Games Of Love — Boyzone

Born in the sunshine
Dyin’ in the rain
Raised on laughter
Lost in a game
Love you
Love you
Games — Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young