Just another routine day in their lives, except for one small difference, today Starsky and Hutch received something they have worked almost a year for. They got enough evidence to secure an arrest warrant for Tony Favale. Favale was one of the most ruthless and violent people they have encountered in a long time. He always manages to stay one step ahead of them, but not today. This is the type of day the young detectives lived for; it made all their hard work worth while. Not only were they planning on putting one of today's most dangerous criminals behind bars, but they were also about to start a much deserved two week vacation in the Bahamas. Can't get much better than that!
As they drove Starsky's bright red tomato to Favale's residence, they went over their game plan. Everything had to be by the book, it had to go smoothly. Favale's lawyers would just love to get him off on a technicality. They could not allow any mistakes; they had to be prepared for anything. According to one of their sources, Favale was at home, and with the exception of a couple of his best bodyguards, he was alone. Bodyguards did not make Starsky or Hutch nervous, making a terrible, irreversible mistake did.
"O.K. so I'll take team one through the front, you and team two have the back. Team three will split up and cover the grounds in case he slips away." Starsky reiterated to Hutch, obviously irritating him.
"Starsk, we've been over it twice, I think I've got it." Hutch snapped. "Just don't forget to read him his rights!" Starsky gave Hutch one of his crooked smiles.
They pulled up to Favale's residence as quietly as possible, given the Torino's 386 cc engine. Behind them were several black and whites carrying at least 3 uniformed officers each. They all huddled around Starsky's car for further instructions. Hutch reviewed the plan with the officers as Starsky checked and cocked his gun. Hutch took three officers with him around back, as Starsky took his team of three to the front door. Five officers spread out around the house to cover any possible suspects fleeing the scene. Hutch positioned himself at the back door, with his back against the door jam and his gun in hand. He waited for Starsky's sign.
Around front, with guns drawn, the three uniformed officers crouched down in the bushes just off the front porch, with his back pressed against the side of the front door; Starsky used the butt of his gun to knock loudly. "Police, we have a warrant, open up!" He counted to three, took a deep breath, and gave one, distinct nod to his fellow officers, signaling them to get ready. With one swift move, he swung around kicking the door in, breaking the small glass window at the top of the wooden door; taking a crouching stance, legs spread apart for stability, gun in both hands pointed directly in front of him. Nothing, no movement, no sound, no chaos….nothing. Hutch heard the breaking window from his position, there's his sign. Within seconds, he too broke through the door and prepared himself for a fight. Both teams followed their leaders into the house; paying attention, prepared for battle should one arise.
Carefully, the detectives searched the house room by room. In one room, towards the back of the house, Hutch found a T.V. left on and a cup of still warm coffee on the table; evidence that someone was either just there, or still there, hiding in the shadows. He called Starsky into the room to show him the findings. They were getting close, they could feel it. On the far side of the room there was a very large door. Hutch motioned to Starsky as they both moved, simultaneously, towards the door. With Starsky on the right and Hutch on the left, backs firmly to the wall, Hutch tried the knob. Locked, of course. One subtle nod of his Starsky's head and Hutch knew just what to do. Starsky kicked the door in and went low while his partner went high-guns drawn-expecting a barrage of resistance; but getting none.
The room was sparsely decorated, besides a couple of lamps, one-five drawer bureau, and a queen size bed, there was little else in the room. Starsky pointed towards the closet on the left side of the room which Hutch moved closer to. Starsky headed towards the bed on the right. Hutch passed a window covered with heavy drapery. Using his left hand, he moved back one side of the curtain, revealing a large floor-to-ceiling window that had been completely boarded up. He shot Starsky an inquisitive look and shrugged his shoulders, moving on to the closet. The bed was unmade, Starsky moved the rumpled bedding around with his gun. He touched the tan sheets with the back of his hand, they were still warm. Someone had been in this bed very recently. He took one of the two pillows and turned it over seeing reddish, brown stains in three separate areas. He instantly knew what it was.
"I got blood," He informed his partner.
Finding the closet free from any 'skeletons', Hutch looked to Starsky for the next move. They heard a slight moan that came from beneath the bed. They both looked down again and prepared their weapons for an attack. Starsky kicked the leg of the bed and yelled, "Come out with your hands where we can see 'em!" Hutch headed for the other side of the bed. A faint whimper.
Keeping his gun trained on the small space between the floor and the box spring, Starsky dropped to the ground. It was very dark, but he could make out a shape, huddled in the fetal position, at the upper left corner. "Come on out here."
Hutch joined his partner on the floor, moving towards the top of the bed, positioning himself right behind the person trying so desperately to hide. He could tell they were trembling. "Don't move," he softly instructed, "show me your hands."
A very frightened female voice replied, "Please, don't…..don't hurt me."
"We're not going to hurt you, just do what I tell you." Hutch responded. By now, Starsky had moved to the other side of the bed, next to Hutch.
Very slowly, two pale and shaking hands appeared from beneath the bed. Hutch gave his partner a very concerned look. Starsky raised his eyebrows and tilted his head to one side, kneeling next to the pair of hands. Firmly, yet gently, he grabbed the right hand of the petrified woman. He immediately noticed the bruises on the back of her hand, but made no comment. He placed his gun back in his waistband.
"Here, let me help you." He said, obviously concerned about the condition of the rest of her. He took her other hand in his and slowly guided her towards him. She kept her head down, facing the floor. He noticed her long, brown hair; matted and tangled; looking like it hadn't been brushed in weeks. She was about half way out when she started to pull away from him.
She was pleading with them, "Please, don't touch me, leave me alone! You don't understand! Just go away…!"
"We can help you, we're police officers, you don't have to be afraid." Starsky tried to sound as convincing as possible. "Come out here and talk to us." He still had a hold of her hands. She slowly gave up resisting, resigning herself to the fact that she must face these two eventually. She turned onto her side and slid the rest of the way out. Starsky released his hold on her hands so she could sit up. Hutch stood up behind his partner.
With her legs crossed beneath her, she sat up and faced the two detectives, keeping her head lowered towards the floor. The first thing they noticed was the obvious protrusion of her waist, this poor woman was pregnant, and very pregnant at that. "What the…?" Hutch started his question, but withdrew it almost immediately.
"What's your name?" Starsky asked, placing his hand under her chin, trying to raise her face to meet his. She pulled away and kept her head down.
A police officer from Starsky's team appeared in the doorway. "We've checked every room, no sign of Favale, looks like he gave us the slip, Detective." He then spots the woman on the floor. "Well, who have you guys found? One of his tramps? Maybe she'll have some info for us…This raid may not be a total waste after all!" Hutch shot the officer a look that would of made Dobey seem like a pussy cat.
"Why the hell don't you wait outside, Olsen?" Hutch posed the statement to the officer more as an order than a question…. The young officer left the room; Hutch returned his attention to Starsky and the nameless woman on the floor.
"You're after Tony?" She spoke in a very soft voice, "You know you'll never catch him. And if you do catch him, you won't keep him." She slowly raised her head to meet Starsky's. "He's got half the force on his payroll, how do you think he knew you were on your way here tonight?"
Both Starsky and Hutch gasped when they saw her face. Her right eye was black and blue. Her lip was fat and split on the left side still with dried blood at the corner of her mouth. "Who did this to you? Was it Favale? Do you know where we can find him?" Starsky started rattling the questions at her while he held her face and turned it side to side, examining the damage.
She pulled away, "I'm fine! Just leave me alone."
"Is the baby his?" Hutch didn't want to, but knew he had to ask. With her head dropped again she silently nodded, yes. "Well you can't stay here; let's get her to a doc, 'ey, Starsk?"
Starsky was about to second that motion when the still nameless female protested. "Can't stay! I have to stay here! I don't have a choice, if I leave, he'll kill me!"
"Listen, uh…what's your name by the way?" Starsky asked.
"Julie. Julie Adams."
"I'm Dave Starsky, and this is my partner Ken Hutchinson. As I was saying Julie. Can I call you Julie?" She nodded. "Great, we can put you in protective custody, he won't be able to hurt you…"
She cut him short, "Didn't you hear me? He owns cops like you. 'Half the force.' I don't, I mean, can't trust anyone. Now, if you're done with your "raid", I assume you'll be leaving soon?"
"Miss, you don't understand, we really can't leave you here. You're injured, not to mention the fact that you're a possible witness to illegal activities. With or without your permission, you're going to have to come with us." Hutch hated having to play 'the bad cop' but someone had to do it. He didn't think Starsky would.
"You do that and you're signing my death warrant." Tears began to well up in her eyes. "Please, don't do this, you said you wouldn't hurt me?"
"I'm afraid my partner's right, Julie. We have to take you with us." He reached out his hand and placed it under her elbow to help her up. She stood up wobbly. Starsky stabilized her, "Are you O.K.?" He asked.
"Yeah, just a little dizzy." He held her arm with one hand and around her waist with the other. As he looked down he noticed a thick chain on the ground and bent over to pick it up. He was shocked to see it was attached from her ankle to the large foot of the bed! She was a prisoner, not only emotionally but physically as well.
"Jeez, hey Hutch…." Starsky started, but Hutch was already aware of the situation.
"I'll get the bolt cutters!" He shook his head as he was leaving the room.
Starsky took Julie and sat her gently on the bed. Her face was white as a ghost. "You've gotta trust me, we have to get you outta here." He took both of her hands in his. She was shaking uncontrollably. "What has he done to you?"
"He's gonna come after me, he'll find me, then once the baby's born, he'll kill me, you'll see!" She dropped her head once again.
"Hutch and I won't let him!" He said ducking his head trying to make eye contact with her. God he felt horrible for her. What she must have been through, who knows how long this has been going on for? Now is not the time to ask. She looked him straight in the eyes…
"I'll make you a deal…but you have to promise me something…" She said in almost a whisper.
"I'll try, what is it?"
"Don't ask me why, but I trust you and your partner. I'll go with you, I'll even try to help you find Tony. But in return, I don't want anyone but you and him, to know where I am." She pointed to Hutch as he walked back into the room, bolt cutters in hand. "I was serious, Tony has so many contacts, in and out of the police force, that I honestly don't know who to trust." Starsky looked at Hutch as he was cutting away the chain that held her prisoner for who knows how long. "If you two are willing to do this for me, and you're able to catch Tony, I'll tell you everything I know about his shady dealings. I may even agree to testify against him in court, if it will keep him away from me and my baby!"
Hutch looked at Starsky and shrugged his shoulders, knowing that his partner wanted him to agree with the deal. "The deals almost too good to turn down, 'ey partner? With the evidence we have against the guy, coupled with her testimony, we could put Favale away for life. And we'd be doing her a favor..!" Starsky said trying to get Hutch to verbalize his approval.
Hutch called Starsky aside to discuss it in private. "You know Dobey won't go for this, it doesn't matter how we feel about it."
"And, how do we feel about it?"
"I don't see how we can say no. She really needs our help right now."
"Then I can keep her, Dad?" He was looking up at Hutch like she was a lost puppy that had followed him home.
Hutch laughed, "Yeah, you can keep her, just don't forget to feed and water her." They gathered some of her clothing from the dresser and took her out of the house. As they reached the front porch, Julie seemed to hesitate. She was afraid of what and who was out there, beyond the walls of the house that she knew so well. At least in that hell hole of a house, she knew what to expect. With Starsky on one side of her, holding her up, and Hutch on the other side, carrying what little items of hers they took with them, they each gently nudged her on.
"Come on, you can do this." Starsky whispered in her ear. She looked at him, gave a slight nod and continued on. When they passed through the doorway, Julie raised her left arm to shield her eyes from the sunlight. It had been a while since she had been outside and it took her eyes time to adjust. They reached Starsky's car and Hutch threw the clothes in the back seat through the passenger window. He quickly opened the door for her as Starsky turned her to face him. With one of her hands on her belly and one in Starsky's grasp, she gently lowered herself into the vehicle. Both detectives joined her and they were off.
After a quick stop at the drug store to pick up some personal items that Julie may need, they arrived at Starsky's apartment. Hutch helped Julie out of the car while Starsky unloaded it. As they started up the stairs, Julie stumbled and grabbed for the railing. Hutch held onto her strongly, they stopped walking. "You O.K.?" He asked her.
"Yeah, I think I just stood up too fast." She answered, but not very convincingly.
"When was the last time you ate?" Hutch inquired. Starsky was already at the top of the stairs, unlocking the door, and throwing the things he was carrying into the living room. He went back downstairs to help Hutch.
"Yesterday at lunch. I wasn't hungry last night, and then you two had to show up today before I could get a decent meal." She said jokingly.
"Well if you're staying at Starsky's you still won't be getting a 'decent meal' anytime soon." Hutch smirked.
"Hey, I find that remark offensive!"
"Not half as offensive as she's gonna find your 'meals'" Hutch prodded Starsky.
"Ready to head upstairs?" Starsky asked, trying quickly to stop the insults being hurled at him.
She nodded. The staircase was not very wide, so Hutch was slightly ahead of her and Starsky right behind. Ready in case she fell. Once inside Hutch made sure Julie was comfortable on the couch and joined Starsky in the kitchen. He was scouring the fridge to find something for her to eat. "Is there anything in particular you'd like us to make you?" Hutch inquired.
After only seconds of thinking, she responded, "I'd love a salami sandwich if you got it." Starsky looked at Hutch smiling broadly, raising both his eyebrows twice.
"Didn't realize she was such a connoisseur of find cuisine." He ribbed Hutch. "One salami sandwich coming right up!" He yelled to his new best friend in the living room.
Julie finished eating, and asked if she could take a shower. Starsky showed her where the bathroom was and where to find clean towels. "Do me a favor and leave the door unlocked incase you need us. I'd hate to hafta break down my own door! I hear they're pretty expensive to fix." She smiled, thanked him for his kindness and headed for the shower. After ten minutes went by Starsky got uneasy and went to check on her. He could still hear the water running, but she'd just seemed so weak. He knocked on the door and opened in slightly. "You need anything in there?" He asked.
"Not unless you wanta wash my back." She joked. He closed the door and returned to Hutch in the living room.
"How much do you think she knows about Favale's dealings? Hutch asked Starsky's opinion.
"Hopefully not too much, the more she knows, the more trouble she's in. Both with Favale, and with the police." He heard the water from the shower shut off. After a few moments passed, they heard a call from the other room.
"Dave…. Ken…. I need you." They both jumped up and went into the bathroom. The room was filled with steam, mirrors fogged up. The shower curtain was still closed and Julie was still in the tub.
"Julie, what is it?" Hutch asked looking at his partner with concern.
"I don't feel so good, I'm really dizzy, I can't stand up." Realizing that she is in a compromising position in the shower, Starsky looked around and grabbed his white terry cloth bathrobe from the hanger on the wall. He handed it over the shower curtain to Julie. He didn't want to embarrass or upset her by barging right in.
"Here, put this around you, let us know when you're ready." The tenderness in his voice was touching.
"O.K., I'm ready." Hutch moved back the shower curtain to one side. Julie was kneeling on the floor of the shower, leaning against the wall. She managed to get the robe loosely around her. She looked at the detectives with embarrassment. "I'm sorry, I just started feeling so strange." Starsky extended a helping hand to her which she reached for.
"No need for apologies, that's what were here for." Hutch replied as Starsky helped her out of the shower putting an arm around her waist for support. As he did that, the robe slipped down past her shoulders. From where Hutch was standing he caught a glimpse of her shoulders, and upper back. Like the back of her hand, he could make out bruises across her shoulder blades. He winced at the sight. What kind of trash would do this to a woman, and a pregnant woman at that? She was very unstable. Starsky could feel how weak her legs were under her. He walked her across the room and sat her on the edge of his bed. Hutch caught Starsky's eye and pointed to his own shoulders cluing him in on what he'd seen. Starsky reached around her and gently pulled the robe back, exposing her injuries.
"For the love of God. Hutch, we need to get her to a doctor." Starsky exclaimed. Hutch giving an agreeing nod.
Julie pulled away slightly, "Please, don't, I'm fine really. It's not that bad." Hutch knelt down, eye level to Julie, putting his hand on her knee.
"Listen, you've almost collapsed, twice, you have multiple contusions, and I'm sorry to say, you don't look so good, no offense. Not to mention the fact that we need to make sure your baby's Okay. If not for us, do this for your baby?"
"Doctors and hospitals will be one of the first places Tony looks. Where else would you take an injured pregnant woman? And I thought you two were detectives?" She said half kidding and half trying to change their minds. "I'm alright, I just need to rest for awhile. The baby's fine, believe me. With the way this kid has been kicking, the only thing I have to worry about, is controlling him once he's here. Besides, Tony always made sure I had regular checks by a doctor. He had some doc come to the house weekly to check on me and our son. Of course, the doc was paid to keep his mouth shut, I never even knew his name."
"So you're having a boy?" Starsky asked.
"Yeah, thank God," she continued, "when Tony found out I was pregnant, he made it very clear to me that he wanted a son. I was scared to death of the possibility of having a girl." There was a long uncomfortable pause. The two detectives looked at each other. "You know he wasn't always like this, or maybe he was, but not with me. I'm not a tramp…" She remembered the comment from Officer Olsen back at the house.
"We never thought you…"Hutch started, but she cut him off.
"I met Tony about two and a half years ago. He was charming, intelligent, attentive, and very suave. He wined and dined me like no one ever had before. I fell for him hard. It wasn't until a year into our relationship that I started to see signs of what he was like, little signs at first, then bigger ones. About ten months ago I tried to break things off with him. That's when his true colors really came out. He became very possessive, telling me that I could never leave him. I stayed with him out of fear. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I had to get away, for me and my baby. I hid the pregnancy from Tony for months." Her voice started to quiver, her eyes to tear up. Both men sat on either side of her on the bed. "And, I did it, I up and left…it wasn't long before his guys found me and took me back to the house." Now the tears were rolling freely down her cheeks. Starsky put his arm around her shoulder and leaned her towards him, stroking her wet hair with his hand.
"You don't need to do this," he told her, "you don't owe anyone an explanation."
But she felt the need to continue, more for herself then for them. She had never really been able to talk to anybody about this. "Once, they took me back to his house, Tony was so angry, he beat me nearly to death. To teach me a lesson, never to even think about leaving again. Then when he found out I was pregnant, I was barely allowed to be alone. If he was not there I was usually locked in the room, the beatings were less severe, but more regular. Just a constant reminder of what he was capable of. I'm sooo afraid he's going to find me." She started to shake. "If he does, I'm dead, and my son doesn't stand a chance with his father." Starsky tried to quiet her fears.
"Shhhh, it's alright, we've gotcha now." His eyes met with Hutch's, both of them shaking their heads in disbelief. Starsky shifted himself on the bed laying her back against the pillows. She seemed so pale, so weak, yet so strong at the same time. Her eyes were bloodshot and heavy. Hutch grabbed a blanket from the foot of the bed and covered her up.
"Try to get some rest," he told her, "we can talk about this later." She nodded her head. Hutch looked at Starsky and motioned towards the door. Starsky stroked the side of her cheek with his hand, winked at her and headed out of the room. Hutch reached for the doorknob to pull the door shut.
"Hey," she whispered, "would ya' mind leavin' that open? I really don't want to be alone."
"Sure, we'll be right here if you need anything." Hutch reassured her.
Tony Favale was a tall older Italian man. Stocky in build, his presence itself was threatening. He was on the phone obviously upset over the disappearance of Julie. "I need names!!!" He yelled into the hand piece. "I want her back by this time tomorrow or you'll pay dearly!" He slammed the phone down. He looked up at one of his men. "If that officer doesn't come through, I want him dealt with quickly." He commanded.
Back at Starsky's place, all was quiet. "Listen, I'm gonna go home, catch a quick shower, change my close, maybe a little sleep, and I'll be back in the morning." Hutch informed his partner.
"K, I'll hold the fort down here." Starsky replied. With that Hutch left the apartment. Starsky was in the kitchen looking for a midnight snack, when he heard a scream from his room. He ran in to find Julie on the floor by his closet, again in the fetal position, softly whimpering.
"Please…don't do this, you're hurting me." She was shaking and had her hands over her head, as if to protect herself from some unseen assailant. "No, don't…please, I'm sorry……" Starsky slowly made his way towards her calling her name gently and kneeling down besides her.
"Julie, it's me, Dave," he said putting his hand on her shoulder. He could feel her tense up. "No ones gonna hurt you…I'm here." He reassured her. Without looking up, her arms flailed wildly. With clenched fists she hit Starsky on the side of his head and on his chest.
"No! Go away!" She screamed. She was fighting someone or something from her past. She was fighting for her life.
He grabbed both of her wrists tightly, pulling her arms down to her lap. "Julie, stop! Knock it off!" He yelled at her in his firmest tone. She slowly raised her head, not knowing exactly where she was.
"Dave?" She said reaching out for him.
"Yeah, it's me."
"Tony's coming for me. I know he is." She sobbed. Starsky took her in his arms and rocked her.
"He has to get through me first. Don't worry, I don't go down that easy!" She put both her arms around her own waist, trying to cradle the son that was yet to be born.
"Please don't let him get my son, he's all I have." She cried. He stood and helped her to her feet, moving her back to his bed.
"I won't let him get to you, I promise, you have to believe me." He laid her back down on the bed, covering her up. "Get some sleep, try not to think about him." He pulled the covers up to her chest. He stroked the hair from her face and let his hand trail down her cheek. "You have nothin' to be afraid of anymore." Her eyes blinked slowly as a tear fell down the side of her face. Starsky wiped it dry.
"But what if…" She started.
"Let me worry about the 'what if's' you just rest." She let out a gasp and reached for her belly. "What's wrong? You O.K.?" He asked.
"I'm fine, but junior here is sure making a fuss, he's kicking up a storm." Starsky's eyes met hers. "You wanna feel him?" He smiled slightly and nodded. She took his left had and placed it firmly on her stomach. "Wait, he'll kick again." Starsky felt a hard thump against the palm of his hand. At first he was surprised at the amount of force that came from her mid-section. He chuckled. Than another thump, and another. He imagined what that must feel like for her. Life, God's greatest creation.
"That's amazing, does it hurt?" He asked curiously.
"Sometimes, but other times it just gives me the reason to go on, fighting, living, breathing. This is what life is about. To think that I'm responsible for this other, helpless human being. He relies on me to protect him. Kinda like I'm relying on you and Hutch to protect me." Another round of thumps and movements ensued from deep inside her. Starsky just smiled, he had never experienced anything like this and wasn't sure how to react. He finally removed his hand from her stomach.
"Well you just let 'junior' know that Hutch and I are here to protect and serve." He raised his hand to salute her. She smiled. "Sleep now." He rose from the bed and headed for the living room. "I'll leave the door open."
"Don't go…not yet…I'm afraid." He returned to the bed, stretching out beside her. "Stay until I fall asleep." He put his arm around her. She felt safe for the first time in a long time. It wasn't long before she drifted off.
From behind his desk, Favale spewed his venom. You'd better have some answers for me, or the Bay City police will be looking for a new meter maid!"
"She left with two detectives, we haven't seen her since. Now I know their names, but don't know where they have her, no one does." Officer Olsen informed Favale. "When I was working in the clerks' office, I had to make a delivery to one of their homes. Hutchinson's, I know where he lives. Maybe they have her stashed there. If not, I'm sure he knows where she's at."
"You'd better hope he knows! If he don't, you're a dead man." Favale warned the young officer. "I want you to handle this one yourself. You're a fellow cop, he'll trust you."
"Yeah, but if he finds out I'm working for you, my policing days are over. He's not stupid, it won't take him long to figure it out. He'll go straight to Dobey, and we'll both be in prison for a very long time. There's no way he's just gonna give me the info. What do you expect me to do?"
"You bring that pig to me, I'll do the rest. And don't worry, when we're finished with him, he won't be able to tell anyone what he knows!!!" Favale said. Lighting himself a big fat cigar and leaning back in his leather desk chair.
"Hey, I don't want any part of offing a cop." Olsen protested.
"You're in so far over your head that offing a cop should be the least of your worries. You're lucky I haven't 'offed' you for letting them take her outta here. You were supposed to tail her. Bring her back to me, remember? You failed me, not many people fail me and live to tell about it. So I suggest you bring me that cop like I told you, a count your blessings you're still alive, and pray that I let you stay that way! Now, get the hell outta here!"
Olsen backed slowly out of Favale's office. The mobster picked up a framed photo off his desk. It was of Julie. Staring at her picture he rambled, "Enjoy the time you have left, soon it'll be over, and our son will be with me!" With that he shattered the glass out of the frame onto his desk and took the lit cherry of his cigar and pressed it into her face on the photo. He laughed, enjoying the thought of causing her pain.
Starsky could faintly hear a telephone ringing. He slowly opened his eyes, blinking quickly to try to remove the fog. The ringing got louder. As he woke up he realized that he had fallen asleep lying next to Julie, he didn't even think he was that tired when he lay down with her. He moved carefully trying not to wake her. Getting up, he headed for the sound of the ringing telephone. Clearing his throat, he picked up the receiver. "Yeah, speak." He said rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"Starsk? It's me." Hutch said. "How's our expectant charge doin'?"
"Had a rough night, but she's sleepin' soundly now." He said rubbing his eyes.
"'K, I'm gonna head to the precinct and pick up the file on Favale and let Dobey know what's goin' on, then I'll be over. Want me to pick up some breakfast on my way? Or, is it salami surprise again?"
"Nah, go ahead and pick something up, we have a lot of work to do today, I'll put the coffee on."
There was a knock at Hutch's door. "I gotta go, someone's at my door. Probably the newspaper boy, I forgot to pay him. See ya' soon." He hung up and went to the door. When he opened the door, he was surprised to see Officer Olsen standing there. "What are you doing here?" He inquired.
"I need some info to finish my report on yesterday's raid." He told the detective.
Hutch turned his back and walked away from the door. "I thought Starsk told you not to worry about the paperwork, we'd take care of it." The young officer entered the apartment behind Hutch, pulling his gun out of the holster and raising it over his head. He brought the butt of his gun down hard on the back of Hutch's head, knocking him to the ground.
"Yeah, you'll take care of it alright." He stated with a crooked grin on his face.
A couple of hours had passed. Still no sign of Hutch. Starsky made a phone call to Dobey. "Cap' you seen Hutch?"
"No, I haven't seen him, or you, for that matter! Where in the hell have you two been. Last I heard, you two were serving a warrant to Favale and then disappeared off the face of the earth. The officers that were with you don't know nothin', no reports have been filed, and now you're calling me asking me where your partner is? What are you two trying to pull?" Dobey lit into Starsky. Starsky pulled the phone away from his ear.
"Calm down Cap'. Hutch was supposed to come by this mornin' to fill you in. You mean to tell me he never showed?" Now he was worried. "Something's wrong, I don't like this. Do me a favor, put out an A.P.B. on Hutch, would ya' Cap', I'll explain later."
With that Starsky hung up the phone. He looked up and saw Julie standing in the bedroom doorway. He was not sure how much she had heard and didn't want to upset her if it wasn't necessary. "Hey, you're up, how'd ya' sleep?" He walked towards her.
"Not bad." She answered him. She could sense that his mind was elsewhere. "Everything O.K.? You seem…well, distracted."
"Who, me? Nah, I'm fine. Listen, you hungry? Can I make you something to eat?" He started shuffling around the apartment, trying to stay busy, and to avoid her at the same time. He headed for the kitchen. "How about some toast and juice? There's still some coffee?"
"Sure, anything would be fine; I think I'll go wash up." She turned and went back into the bedroom. Starsky stopped for a moment and leaned against the kitchen counter with the palms of both hands flat against the tile. He sighed heavily.
"God, Hutch, where are you?" He said, rolling his eyes and looking towards the ceiling. He gathered himself together and started making Julie's toast. "Hey Julie, you want butter or jelly on your toast?" He called to her.
"Butter's fine," she replied walking back into the living room, "where's Hutch at?"
"Who... Oh, Hutch," he was trying to stall for time. Starsky hated to lie. He was trying to figure out what to say without letting her know how truly concerned he was. "Well, I'm expecting him anytime now." He said as he glanced at his watch. As time wore on, so did the possibility that Hutch really was in trouble and needed his help. He placed the toast and a large glass of juice on the table and excused himself. He needed to make a call. He grabbed the phone and went into his bedroom, closing the door behind him. Julie knew something was up, she just wasn't sure what. Starsky dialed Huggy's number.
"Never fear, Huggy's here." The voice on the other end answered.
"Can't you just say 'Hello' like everyone else?" Starsky shot back with a slight smile.
"Starsk, my man, to what do I owe this honor?"
"I need your help buddy. Have you seen Hutch?"
"He was by here last night, grabbed a quick bite to eat on his way home. Why? Something wrong?" Huggy asked.
"I don't know, I talked to him this morning, he was headed to the office, then over here. I just got off the phone with Dobey, and he never made it by there, and I haven't seen hide nor hair of him. It's just not like him. He woulda called if he was gonna be this long."
"Well, he ain't been aroun' here. But I'll put out my feelers, and see if I can't turn up some news."
"Hey Hug-also keep your ear to the ground for anything to do with Tony Favale."
"He's one bad dude! Let me guess, you guys went and got him all ticked off at you? Now Hutch is missin'. Am I gettin' close?" Huggy questioned Starsky.
"Yeah, somethin' like that. Just keep me posted would ya' Hug?"
"Will do." With that both men hung up the phone. Starsky dropped his head in thought for a brief moment and he shook from side to side.
He returned to the living room to find Julie in the kitchen, washing her dishes.
"Don't worry about those, I'll get 'em later," he went to her and escorted her into the living room and onto the couch. "Just relax. You're getting your color back, that's good to see." With his hand, he again tilted her head side to side, to check the wounds on her face. "I think you should heal nicely." He said with a wink. She gently smiled back. "Can I get you anything else?"
"No, I'm fine, thanks."
The phone rang, Starsky whipped around quickly. Without thinking, he picked up the receiver, "Hutch?!?" He waited for the response on the other end.
"Starsky," It was Dobey. "I got some bad news." Starsky, remembering that Julie was listening, headed towards his room. Julie just sat silently on the couch, and watched him disappear behind the door.
"Cap' is it Hutch?" He asked, preparing himself for the worst.
"I'm afraid so, son. We just received a call from Favale, he says he has Hutch and he's going to kill him if his girlfriend isn't returned. Do you know anything about this girlfriend of his?" Dobey waited for the answer.
"Yeah, she's here. She's pregnant and she's hurt. Hutch and I promised her protection from Favale. Cap' you can't tell anyone. According to her, he has quite a few employees on the force. We don't know who we can trust. That's what Hutch was on his way to tell you. How's this gonna go down?"
"He's gonna call again."
"At 12:30. That's when he wants to make arrangement for the switch, his girl for Hutch. Whatta wanna do son, the calls yours."
"I don't know, Cap', but I'll tell you one thing, I wanna be there for the phone call, I wanna talk to Hutch, make sure he's O.K., that it's not already too late. I'll see you soon." He hung up and took a moment to gather his thoughts, he needed to compose himself before facing Julie. How was he going to tell her? What was he going to tell her? He knew she had a right to know. He returned to the living room.
"Well, how goes the battle?" she asked.
Starsky had his head lowered towards the floor; he set the phone down and fidgeted with his hands. He raised his head slightly. "The 'battle' has just become a 'war'." He stated. "Listen Julie, something's happened, I don't know how to tell…"
"It's Hutch, isn't it? Tony's done something to Hutch?" Starsky sat next to her on the couch and took her hands in his.
"Yeah," he nodded raising his head to look her in the eyes. "He's got him. I just got off the phone with my captain, I guess he called the station…."He could feel her hands start to tremble and he squeezed them gently. "Hey, take it easy. "It's gonna be O.K."
She raised her hand to her mouth, for a brief moment, she thought she might throw up. "Oh, dear God…no… How'd this happen...? Who...? You guys shoulda never gotten involved in this...! Jesus…."She jumped up and ran into the bedroom, slamming and locking the door behind her.
"Julie!" Starsky called after her, he immediately followed her, but wasn't able to reach the door before the lock engaged. He could hear her sobbing uncontrollably in the room. She was muttering something, he couldn't quite understand what she was saying. He knocked lightly. "Julie, open up. Come on…this isn't your fault. Everything's gonna work out, you'll see." He tried to reassure her even though he didn't fully believe it himself. No response, nothing. Starsky paced back and forth in front of the door. Kicking himself the whole time. Why'd he have to be so damn honest with her? Why couldn't he have just lied about the whole situation! Her crying quieted. Starsky could hear the door being unlocked. It opened slightly; he waited a minute, then pushed the door open and went inside. Julie sat on the bed wiping her eyes with Kleenex. He sat next to her and put his arm around her shoulder, trying to be comforting. Starsky was so worried about Hutch; he too, could use a little comforting. "You Okay?" He asked, genuinely concerned with how she was going to be able to handle this whole thing. He lifted her chin up with his hand and looked her directly in the eyes. "You don't know Hutch like I do, he's been in tougher situations than this."
"Yeah? Well unfortunately you don't know Tony like I do. He'll kill Hutch in a heartbeat, without giving it a second thought." That was not exactly what Starsky wanted to hear right now. "You have to give him what he wants… Dave, you have to give him me. That's the only chance Hutch stands!"
"No way! Out of the question. Hutch wouldn't want that, and I won't allow it! You said yourself, he'll kill you! We'll have to find another way." She grabbed his hands. This time he was shaking.
"He won't kill me until I've had the baby, Hutch only has hours. The way I see it, I'll be buying you the time you need to figure out something else." She paused, than continued. "Look, I don't want to go back to him either, but we don't have a choice. I'll be counting on you and Hutch to come save me and the baby." She let him think about it for a moment. "You got any better ideas?" God, he wished he had!!! "I couldn't live with myself if I let him die without doing everything I could to save him." Tears began rolling down her cheek again. Starsky reached for her and pulled her close; she rested her head on his chest. Unlike last night, his arms no longer made her feel safe. She now knew they provided her with a temporary shelter, a false sense of security, nothing more. Tony will get his way, he always did.
His head hurt, opening his eyes was painful. He wasn't sure where he was. All he knew was his head hurt, bad! Hutch blinked several times, things began to come into focus. He knew he was on the ground. He saw several pairs of feet. His head hurt too much to count them. He slowly lifted his head, raising his body and supporting his weight on his elbow. He tried to get his legs underneath him to stand. "Who are you?" He asked. Without a word, he was kicked swiftly and sharply in the stomach. He gasped for breath and fell back to the ground. "What do you want?" This time a kick to his back.
"If you know what's good for you Hutch, you'll stay down and stay quiet." He recognized the voice and started to remember what happened to him.
"Olsen. You son of a…" Another kick to the back. Hutch decided to take his advice and stay down and quiet. At least, for now.
"You'd better hope your friends come through for you, Detective." The voice was not Olsen's. Hutch tried to turn around on the floor to get a better look at the man behind the voice. "I don't appreciate people screwin' with me, messin' with my stuff, taken things that belong to me…"
"Favale!" Hutch didn't have to see him to know he was there. "Julie's not property, nor is the baby. Their human beings, and when you keep them locked in a room, that's called kidnapping!" He closed his eyes, ready for the kick that was about to come. This one to the legs. That's right 'down and quiet' he thought to himself.
"When a Dad grounds their child and forbids them from leaving the house, is that called kidnapping? No, that's just good parenting, he's providing discipline and shelter for them. Julie just needed guidance and discipline, which I gave her. Now you come along and ruin everything. My son is now gonna have to grow up without a mother, thanks to you." Down and quiet, down and quiet, kept running through Hutch's mind. "By this time tomorrow, things will be back to the way they were. The way they were meant to be."
"They'll never trade her for me."
"Well, you better hope they reconsider. For your sake!"
"Don't hold your breath." There it was, the kick, in the stomach this time. It was a hard kick. When Hutch could inhale, he just chocked, coughing and struggling to breathe.
Twelve-thirty P.M. sharp. Captain Dobey sat behind his desk. Julie sat in a chair opposite Dobeys' desk. Starsky was retrieving water from the cooler and serving it to Julie in a paper cup. Her hands shook nervously. "You know Miss Adams, I have to advise you against doing this exchange." Dobey told her.
"You'd be wasting your time, Captain." She replied.
"He's right you know, you don't have to go through with this." Starsky reinforced.
"Don't do this Dave, not again!" She argued.
The phone rang, Julie felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
"Dobey. " He said as he answered the phone. His voice grumbled. He raised his eyes to meet Starskys' glare. Dobey hit the speaker phone and returned the handset to the holder.
"Well, Captain I guess it's time to find out how much this fine officer is worth to you!" The person on the other end spoke. "I assume his partner's there with you?"
"I'm here, Favale, and we're not making any deals 'til I speak with Hutch."
"Well, unfortunately you're not the one making the rules, detective!"
"Tony?" Julie's voice was trembling. "They're not gonna let me come back until they know Ken's Okay."
"Ken? Ken? Well ain't that sweet. Ya'll are on a first name basis already!" He said sarcastically. Favale motioned to one of his henchmen to bring the cop in.
"Listen," Starsky interjected. "It wasn't Julie's choice to leave, she wanted to stay. We made her come with us."
"Yeah, I'm sure she put up quite a fight!"
Hutch entered the room with his arms tied behind his back, looking worn out. His lip was slightly split.
"Looks like your friends are willing to deal," Favale stated to Hutch, placing the phone to his ear. "All they're waiting for, is word from you!"
Hutched looked confused. They can't be willing to deal? He'll kill her? What are they thinking? He knew this wasn't Starsky's or Dobey's decision, but how they even let Julie consider it?
Hutch leaned towards the phone. "What the hell are you thinking?" He uttered. "Starsk, don't let her do this! You know he'll…" His sentence was cut short as he received a punch to the mid-section, bending him in two. Starsky heard the gasps and coughing escape his partner. He knew what had happened, he almost felt it.
"Hutch, you O.K.?" No reply. "You still there? Answer me! What Happened?" Starsky's eyes darted to Captain Dobey. A look of concern washed over both of their faces.
Favale grabbed Hutch by the hair roughly, pulling his head up to meet his. He held the receiver with his other hand, behind his back. "Better watch what you say if you wanna make it outta this. Now, tell him you're Okay!"
"I'm fine," he gasped into the phone, "don't worry about me." Favale yanked the phone away.
"O.K., I've held up my end, now it's up to you to turn her over." Favale instructed.
"Don't hurt him, Tony… Please…I'll do whatever you say, just don't hurt him." Julie said staring directly at the speaker on the desk. Starsky could hear the fear in her voice. He put a comforting hand on her shoulder and squeezed gently.
"I know you will, babe. And don't worry 'Jules', it's not him I want to hurt." Julie felt a shiver run down her spine. Starsky shook his head at Dobey, piercing his lips together.
"Listen Favale, you lay a finger on her or Hutch, and you'll be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life! You may not know when or how, but one day, you'll answer to me! I promise you that!"
Even though Julie appreciated what Starsky was saying, she knew the words held little meaning to Tony. He lived his life according to his rules, no one else's. He also didn't take well to idle threats.
"Let's get this over with. Where and when?" Julie asked. It seemed hard for her to speak.
By this time, Favale had Hutch removed from the room. "I'll call you before sunset to make the final arrangements…. And Jules, when the switch is made, come alone! You don't want to be responsible for good ol' Kens' death, do you?"
The phone went dead. Starsky looked at Julie, Dobey, and then back at Julie. "I gotta bad feeling about this." He stated. Julie sat with her eyes closed, head bent towards the floor. She had her hands folded in front of her lips, as if she were praying. "I can't let you do this, Julie. He's gonna hurt you. Hutch is right."
She sat silent and still for a moment. With a deep breath, she suddenly stood up. She looked at Starsky, desperate, "I have to get outta here, please get me outta here!"
"Sure." He took her hands, she looked pale. "Let's go back to my place." He turned to Dobey as he led her towards the door. "You can call me there, Cap. We can figure out our next move." Dobey nodded in agreement.
They rode in silence. Starsky kept looking at her out of the corner of his eye. He was afraid she was going to crack. No matter how strong she seemed, she had to have a breaking point, and he felt it couldn't be far away.
"How ya' holdin' up?" He finally broke the silence.
"Great! Just great!" She turned to look out the window. She felt his hand squeeze her shoulder again. "You realize I have to go through with this, don't you? For Hutchs' sake as well as my own. I'm just hoping you've got some great plan, to save my butt, and you're just keepin' it to yourself!"
"I'm workin' on it, sweetheart." He said with wink and a crooked grin. He didn't want her to see how worried he actually was. They returned to the awkward silence. The only sound was the Torinos' mighty engine. Starsky only wished he felt as powerful and sure, as his trusty car.
Once back at his place they both sat on the couch facing each other. Not knowing exactly what to say to make the other feel better. The phone rang, it was Dobey. Starsky and Dobey discussed their game plan. When Favale called, they were to patch the call straight through to Starsky's place. In the meantime, Dobey was to get together some surveillance equipment. Starsky wanted a two-way radio with wire for Julie to wear. If he wasn't going to be close enough to see her, he at least wanted to be able to hear what was going down. After Starsky and Dobey made their plans, Starsky returned to the living room, carrying a glass of water. He offered it to Julie. She smiled and thanked him as she took the glass.
"So have you picked out any names?" He asked her.
At first she wasn't sure what he meant. She tilted her head to the side. "Names?"
"The baby...? You know, your sons' gonna eventually need a name?" He was trying to make small talk and trying to give her something positive to think about.
"Oh, names." She started. "You know it's funny, when I first found out I was pregnant, I was so excited! I couldn't wait. I imagined what he would look like, sound like, even smell like. I hid it from Tony quite well. But when he found out, he started controlling and threatening me. All I wanted was to survive! At first I became angry and resented the pregnancy. I blamed the baby for the beatings and the abuse Tony gave me." She paused, looking down, rubbing her belly lovingly. "I even tried to end the pregnancy. I thought if I could get rid of the baby, I could get rid of Tony! Even went as far as to throw myself down a flight of stairs." She looked Starsky in the eyes. "Pretty crazy, huh?"
"Pretty desperate more like it." He said reassuringly.
"I managed to break my arm in two places. Tony called in the doc to patch me up. That night, I was lying in bed, alone, scared, and in the dark. That's when I felt it." One single tear rolled down her face. "He moved, my baby moved. The baby I had just tried to kill, moved inside of me. It was the most incredible, amazing feeling ever. That's when I realized I wasn't fighting for my life anymore, I was fighting for his!" Another tear traveled down her cheek, Starsky wiped it away. Rubbing her cheek with his thumb.
"Is that when you tried to get away from him?"
She nodded. "That very same night. I was gone three and a half days before they caught up with me…. In that three and a half days the baby moved seven more times. I was actually counting those times. They gave me the strength to fight for the next four months. Fight to survive, keep going on, for me and my son." Another tear. "I'm scared, Dave, I'm sooo scared!" The tears were now falling freely. He grabbed her and hugged her tightly, putting his hand in her hair on the back of her head. He wanted to give her strength through his grasp. He wanted desperately to make her feel safe again.
"I know you're scared, honey. I'm scared too. For you and for Hutch. I promise, I'll be right behind you. I won't let Favale hurt you." He rolled his eyes, hoping this was going to be a promise he was going to be able to keep. He said a silent prayer to himself. "Hey, you never answered my question." He pulled back from her so he could see her face.
"What question?" She asked.
"I'll make you a deal. You get me and junior here outta this, and I'll consider naming him after you and Ken."
"Hutch? Why name him after Hutch? After all, it's his fault we're on this mess!" He said jokingly. "I'm the one doing all the work! But if that's the way you want it, you have yourself a deal!" He said with a wink.
Later that afternoon, Starsky and Dobey were in the living room. They had the surveillance equipment laid out on the table. Radios, cameras, binoculars, wires, etc... As they went through the supplies, Dobey asked, "How's she holdin' up?" Julie was in Starsky's' room.
"As well as can be expected… Actually," he shrugged, "better than expected, considering what she's been through the past year or two. Not to mention her current condition. You know, Cap', I just don't get it, I don't understand how someone can do the things he's done to her!"
"There are a lot of sick people out there. You of all people should know that by now."
"Yeah, I know, but it never ceases to amaze me. Here this should be the happiest time of her life, and it's been filled with fear, pain, and terror. It's just not right! And now, here we are, sending her right back in there. In there to face her nightmares all over again!" His voice raised and his frustration obvious.
"We're not sending her anywhere, Starsky! She's going back by her choice, not ours!" Dobey rebutted.
"She's goin' back to save Hutch's ass, Cap', and that's the only reason! God, I wish there was another way."
"Yeah, but there's not, so get over it!" Julie's voice came from the doorway of Starsky's room. Starsky looked at Dobey than at Julie as he headed towards her.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for you to hear all that. I just needed to vent." He placed his arm around her shoulder.
"Don't be sorry, I'm not. I'm not sorry I met you or Ken. I'm not sorry I'm having this child. I'm not even sorry that I have to go back there! I'm scared, but not sorry! The way I see it, fear is a very useful emotion. It makes one cautious, careful. While feeling sorry or pity is a complete waste of time and energy. What purpose does it serve? None! So please, Dave, no matter what happens, don't ever be sorry! Promise me?"
He looked at her with a new sense of admiration and understanding. "You're one incredible lady, Julie Adams." He leaned forward and kissed her cheek.
The phone rang. Starsky walked over and answered it, still looking at Julie. "Starsky here." The voice on the other end spoke. Starsky looked at Dobey than back to Julie. "Okay, patch it through." He listened for a moment and motioned Julie over. "Yeah, Favale, she's here." Putting his hand over the mouthpiece, he stated, "Here we go!" He placed the receiver between him and Julie so they could both hear.
"Jules?" The voice said.
"I'm here, Tony. How's Ken?" She asked.
"He's alive." Favale offered no more information on the detective.
"You make sure he stays that way!" Starsky couldn't help speaking up.
"Okay, this is how we're gonna do it." Starsky's eyes met Julie's. "The diner, Fifth and Broadway. One hour. Wait by the phone booth. I'll be in touch." The line went dead.
Starsky took the phone and hung it up. He took a deep breath, looked at Dobey, putting his arm around Julie. "Let's get her wired up, Cap'."
It was already dark outside, the streetlights were on. The glare from the headlights of oncoming traffic occasionally flashed in Julie's eyes. It was a warm evening. Julie leaned against the phone booth waiting for the call. She began to feel alone and vulnerable.
"Nice weather we're having tonight, hey guys?" She was talking to the men on the other end of the one-way wire she was wearing. "Beginning to feel a little lonely out here boys, sure hope you're still with me?" Her voice shaking slightly.
"We're here, sweetheart." Starsky said aloud from the front seat of the Torino. He said it, wishing that she could hear him. Sitting next to him was Dobey. In the back seat was a uniformed officer along for the ride and possible back up if needed.
Dobey picked up Starsky's radio, "This Captain Dobey, Zebra 3. All units hold your positions until further notice." Including them there were three other units standing by.
"10-4, Charlie 6."
"Roger, Adam 9."
"Check, Zebra 12." All units responded.
The phone Julie was leaning against rang. She hesitated briefly, then answered. "Hello?" Her voice quiet and quivering.
"Take bus 15 downtown to Main and Laurel. Stop #31. Walk one block west. There will be a Bar and Grill in the middle of the block. Wait there." Before she could speak, the caller hung up. The voice didn't belong to Favale, but to one of his goons.
She spoke into the microphone attached to her bra strap, just below her right shoulder. Hopefully well hidden enough to go undetected, even if Favale patted her down. "I'm outta here, taking bus number 15, Main and Laurel. One block west, some Bar and Grill."
Starsky started his car and headed downtown, to get into position.
Julie boarded the bus and took a seat. She was paying close attention to everything and everyone around her. She looked intently at the faces of the other passengers on the bus. Anyone of them could be working for Favale, just waiting to grab her. She got up and moved to the rear of the bus where she could be relatively alone. No one seemed to pay any attention to her. Maybe Tony didn't have somebody planted on the bus. Now you're just being paranoid, Julie thought to herself. Before long she reached her destination. She got off the bus and looked to her right then to her left.
"Hey, any idea which way is west?" She spoke into the wire. Starsky shook his head and smiled slightly.
"Women." He said jokingly.
"Yeah, well at least women are smart enough to ask for directions!" Dobey jabbed. And Julie did just that, asking a passerby. She headed west, one block.
When she arrived at the restaurant, she found the irony nauseating. The name of the place was 'Tony's Bar and Grill'. When she told Starsky the name, he became angry. What a sick bastard, he thought. Starsky hated mind games, and that is what this was. She entered the place and took a seat at the bar, ordering a diet coke, which was served quickly. She sipped the soda slowly. The bar was crowded and noisy, making Starsky nervous. If something were to happen in there, it would be hard for him to tell with all the clanking glasses, people talking, (sometimes shouting), and the volume of the TVs. He hoped she'd be out of there soon! He didn't even hear the bartender calling her name.
"Phone call for Julie Adams." He yelled trying to out shout the hundreds of other people in the bar area.
Julie raised her hand and he brought her the phone. "Yeah?" Starsky heard her say. Tony was on the other end.
"I thought you'd like the name of the place I picked," he laughed, pleased with his cleverness. "Across the street, there's a taxi cab. The driver already has all the instructions he needs. Get in the cab, you're not to say a word! I have it bugged, and every word you say equals one broken bone for our cop of the month, here!"
"Oh dear God!" Escaped her lips. That was all Starsky could hear. He became very worried, looking at Dobey.
"I don't like the sound of that," he said to Dobey, waiting for her to speak again. "What's going on, Julie? Come on, babe, speak to me." He said out loud, as if willing her to hear him.
Julie handed the phone back to the bartender, her hand shaking violently. "You Okay, Miss?" He asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine." She said as she stood and headed out of the bar. As she walked she spoke to Starsky. "I'm getting into a cab across the street. I don't know where it's heading. He'll be listening, so I won't be able to talk for awhile. He'll hurt Hutch if I do." He could hear the terror in her voice.
"Come on, give me a cab number, company name, something to go on!" Starsky again spoke out loud, hoping she would hear him.
Much to Starsky's relief, he heard, "Imperial Cab Company. Cab 190…. Good luck, Dave, and thanks for everything."
"Atta girl." He said starting up his car and pealing away from the curb. He was headed towards 'Tony's Bar and Grill', although he didn't know why. Dobey grabbed the radio.
"This is Captain Dobey, all units be on the lookout for Imperial Cab number 190. Do not attempt to stop vehicle, just radio in with locations. Do not interfere with suspect. And for God's sake, don't let them know they're being followed!" He waited a moment, and then continued. "Dispatch, this is Zebra 3, Captain Dobey speaking, contact Imperial Cab Company. Find out the destination of cab 190. Also find out the background of the driver, run for wants and warrants. Zebra 3 out."
"10-4 Zebra 3."
"Dammit, Cap' we can't loose her now." Starsky said.
"Don't worry, we won't son." He responded.
Julie rode in the back seat in complete silence. She was afraid to even breathe too loudly. All she could see of the driver was the back of his head and his eyes in the rearview mirror. His eyes were deep brown, almost black. He had dark circles under them. By his eyes, she could tell he had a hard life, he looked tired. His skin was weathered and dry. She noticed a picture of a young child on the dash board, next to the meter. She wondered if it was his child, or perhaps a niece or nephew? She wondered if he knew what he was in the middle of, or was she just another fare? She wondered where in the hell he was taking her? Her eyes moved from the photograph to the meter, it wasn't running. She had her answer, she was obviously not a regular passenger. He was probably working for Tony, and he probably knew exactly what he was in the middle of. Still she didn't feel afraid of him. She felt nothing for him, no fear, no compassion, nothing.
"Come-in Zebra 3." The familiar voice from dispatch said.
"Zebra 3, go ahead dispatch." Dobey answered.
"Imperial Cab Company shows Cab 190 has been out of service for over a year now. Last known registered owner of vehicle deceased."
Dobey looked at Starsky who was shaking his head. "10-4 Zebra 3, out."
"We got nothin'." Starsky commented.
They were headed further downtown towards the docks. Julie had an idea. She rolled down her window, hoping that Starsky would recognize some of the noises coming from the area. They were stopped at an intersection by a train. The warning bells of the railroad crossing began to ring.
Captain Dobey and Starsky were talking through the recent events. "Shhh, Cap." Starsky heard the sound from Julie's wire. "They're near the railroad tracks." He could hear the train as it went by. It wasn't smooth like a passenger train. It was loud and uneven, more like a freight train. They could narrow things down by the time of evening and what type of train it was. Dobey got on the radio again with dispatch. He gave them the info needed about the train, so they could start their search. The train was reported near the freight ships at the waterfront.
As the taxi got closer to the docks a horn blew. Starsky knew immediately, a fog horn. "They're at the docks! Hang on, Cap." He exclaimed as he threw the Torino into a violent U-turn. Dobey was glad his door was locked and stayed shut as the big man slammed into it.
"Starsky...! That's still a big area to cover. There's hundreds of warehouses down there, and we don't even know if that's the end of this journey."
"Yeah, well it's more than we had to go on ten seconds ago!" Starsky said optimistically.
The taxi came to a stop in an alley. Julie could smell the salt in the air. There must have been more than half a dozen warehouses surrounding them. She still remained silent. The cab driver turned off his engine and sat quietly, waiting. But, for what? She wondered.
A figure appeared at her car door, he bent down so they were face to face. She knew him as Ernie, Tony's number one guy. Julie let out a gasp. Starsky heard it and looked at Dobey. Ernie put a finger to his lips, letting her know not to speak. He opened the door and reached in, roughly grabbing her by the arm and yanking her out of the vehicle. Starsky could hear the muffled sounds of a struggle, but couldn't make out what was happening to her.
Once she was out of the car, Ernie grasped a handful of her hair, pulling her close to him. Her head hurt, she bit her lip to keep from screaming out. She let out only a slight whine. They were face to face; his breath reeked of stale beer and cigarettes.
"Nice to have you back, Jules." Ernie hissed. His voice was raspy from years of smoking. She could feel his hot breath on her face and tried to pull away.
Starsky heard the stranger speak. He knew it wasn't Favale, but someone had her. He felt more and more desperate as he drove towards the docks, hoping he was headed in the right direction. He and Dobey were both keeping their eye out for the infamous Imperial Cab #190.
Ernie was practically dragging Julie by the hair, her hand was on his wrist to try and ease the pain. The alley was dark and moist. Twice, Julie tripped and fell to the pavement. Ernie would just yank her up by her hair. She couldn't help gasping and sobbing out loud, "Please, don't," she pled.
Starsky knew she was being hurt. He had a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach. He hit the steering wheel with his hand, out of frustration. "How the hell could I let her talk me into doin' this?" He muttered out loud, not really expecting an answer.
Once they reached their destination, Ernie opened the warehouse door and shoved Julie inside. She fell to the ground and stayed there, afraid to move. Ernie then slammed the door shut and remained outside in the alley. Julie could hear footsteps approaching, her arms covering her head instinctively. A strong hand grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her to her feet, pushing her against the wall. The massive hand moved to her throat, squeezing hard enough to make her choke. She coughed and gasped for air. The hand released, ever so slightly. She was able to inhale and took a deep breath. Julie didn't even recognize her new tormentor. He brought his mouth to her ear.
"Where's the wire?" He growled, tightening his grip on her throat once again, then releasing.
Julie knew she had little choice. She reached up with her left hand and pointed to the wire. The fear in her eyes was immeasurable. She was about to loose the only contact she had to Starsky. "Please don't do this." She begged. He lifted his arm and backhanded her hard across the cheek. She cried out in pain.
Starsky slammed his fist against the dashboard. "Dammit!" He yelled. "That son of a…" He bit his lip in anger. He almost wished there was no wire. Hearing what she was going through was almost too much to bear. He felt so helpless!
"Starsky!" Dobey shouted, snapping him back into reality. "Look, over there." He pointed down an alley way. Starsky's eyes widened as he saw the one thing that could give him hope. Imperial Cab #190, driving slowly away!
The Torino came to a screeching halt. He threw it into reverse, backed up and turned left, down the dark alley, turning off his headlights.
Dobey called for back-up. Starsky moved slowly, hoping not to spook the driver until help arrived. He didn't want to loose this guy, without him, they had nothing again.
Julie's anonymous captor reached into her shirt ripping out the wire, taking part of her shirt with it. He released her throat placing his hand around the back of her neck, pulling her forward. They walked down several corridors into a large room. He was roughly pulling and pushing her along the way. The lights in the room were blinding. On the other side she could a doorway that led to another room. Probably an office of some sort. As they entered the room, her escort shoved her as hard as he could. She flew into the middle of the room onto the floor.
"Cut it out, leave her alone!" A voice yelled. She thought she had heard this voice before. She raised her head. In the middle of the room, tied to a pole that went from the floor to the ceiling….
"Ken!" She cried out, trying to crawl to him. A hand stopped her by grabbing her shoulder. She turned to see Tony, standing over her.
"Miss me, Babe?" He said as he brought his hand down across her face. She fell back to the floor.
"Favale!" Hutch cried out. "You're gonna hurt her and the baby!"
Tony just stood over Julie, breathing heavy. Hutch didn't know if he was going to go after her again. He was helpless to stop him. Julie stayed down, sobbing quietly. "I'm sorry, Tony! Please, I'm sorry!" She begged for forgiveness.
Just seeing her have to beg him, made Hutch sick to his stomach. Tony knelt down next to Julie. He grabbed the hair on the top of her head forcing her to look at him. "Why do you make me do this to you? You think I like this?" Tony asked her.
"I promise I won't do it again!" She pleaded with him. He slammed his hand down on the floor next to her.
"You lying, tramp!" He threw her head into the ground, Hutch heard the thud. Tony looked like he was about to loose it. Julie just curled up into a ball, her hands covering her head again.
"Think about the baby, Favale!" Hutch interjected. "Think about your son! You kill her, you kill your child!"
Favale rose and walked over to Hutch. "Now that I have her back, I don't have much use for you, now do I?"
As the taxi was about to pull onto a main road, one of the black and whites blocked its path. The driver came to a stop and put the car in reverse. Starsky pulled right up to the rear bumper, turning his headlights back on, his high beams blinding the driver through the rear window. He opened his door as Dobey slowly opened his. Starsky drew his gun from his holster, holding it in his left hand as he got out of the vehicle, still staying cautiously behind the driver's side door.
"I wanna see both your hands out the window, now!" He commanded to the driver. Two frail shaky hands appeared out the window. Starsky didn't see this man as an immediate threat as he walked around his car closing the drivers' door. He still kept his weapon focused on the cab driver.
"Please, don't shoot." The cabbie begged. Starsky could tell by his accent, he was of Middle Eastern decent. He walked up to the car and opened the drivers' door. He firmly grabbed the man by his collar with his right hand and drug him out of his taxi. He shoved the shaking man against the vehicle, pinning him. He placed the forearm of his left arm against the mans throat, applying just enough pressure to scare the living daylights out of him. The look on Starsky's face would make anyone believe that he had snapped and was capable of pretty much anything.
"The girl you had in your cab, where is she?" He spoke with his lips pursed together in anger, spitting in his face.
"I don't know what you're talking about?" He started to say. Starsky's face grew darker and his eyes angrier. He increased the pressure to the mans' Adams apple.
"You'd better start remembering or your family may never find your body!"
"Okay, okay, I'll talk, just get this guy off of me!" He was speaking to Dobey who was just standing there, watching, enjoying.
"You'd better start talking before he gets mad." Dobey instructed Starskys' little Indian friend. The cabbies' eyes widened as he looked at Dobey than back at the lunatic that had his life in his hands. Starsky did not let up on the pressure he was applying.
"Some man came and took her out of the cab. He paid my fare, and they walked away." He hoped that was enough to satisfy Starsky.
"Where'd they go?" Starsky kept his questions short and to the point.
"I don't kno…."More pressure to the throat.
"Which way, Gandhi?"
"To the north. They went into a warehouse on the north side."
"There's a dozen warehouses down there, which one did he take her to?"
"I don't…" The guy actually considered lying to the insane man in front of him. Starsky's eyes squinted, and he gave a firm shove of his arm, causing the man to choke slightly. "Warehouse 26, warehouse 26! Please don't hurt me!"
"That's a good boy," Starsky said smiling at him and slapping the side of his face. "Take him away fellas." He said as he pushed the driver into the waiting arms of the uniformed officers.
"Tony!" Julie cried out, as Tony delivered a right hook to Hutch's jaw. "Please, don't hurt him!"
Tony swung around, staring at Julie. "Oh, isn't that special! You really care about him, don't ya' Jules?" He said with a shot to Hutch's stomach. Hutch gasped for breath.
"I'll do anything you say, just stop it."
"It's a little late for that, sweetheart!"
Officer Olsen appeared from the shadows accompanied by an older gentleman. "I found him, Tony." Olsen announced. Tony turned to look, Julie immediately knew who the new man was.
"Hey doc, good to see you." Tony addressed him. He looked back at Julie. "You're gonna let the good doc here check you out. I wanna make sure my son's doin' okay." Olsen reached down, taking Julie by the elbow, and helped her to her feet. He led her to the other room, she looked back at Hutch before disappearing out of sight. Favale turned back to face him. "If everything goes according to plan, I'm gonna be a daddy by mornin'!" Hutch looked curiously at the man.
Outside, Ernie remained station at the alley door. Two buildings away, Starsky, Dobey, and several uniformed and plain clothed officers went over the situation.
"I want everyone in position, but no one, no one, moves until I give the word. Got it?" Starsky instructed, as he checked his gun and returned it to the holster. Dobey let Starsky take the reigns on this one. When it came to street work, especially under pressure, there was no cop better at it then him!
Julie, Olsen, and the doctor re-entered the room. Julie was now wearing a hospital gown. Olsen escorted Julie to a twin bed on the side of the warehouse. He pushed her down onto the bed. The doctor approached Favale, who was still standing by Hutch.
"The baby's in position and appears healthy," he reported. "I think it's safe to continue."
"Safe to continue?" Hutch questioned.
"Yes, detective, see we're about to induce Julie's labor. Soon, I won't need either one of you!"
Hutch knew Julie was a dead woman the minute that baby was born. Oh god Starsky, what's taking you so long? He wondered.
The doctor pulled a vial of medicine and a needle from his bag. He drew the liquid into the syringe, measuring it carefully. Both Tony and the medicine man walked towards the Julie, who was sitting on the bed, with Olsen standing beside her. Tony sat next to her. With an evil smirk, he took her by the hair, jerking her head backwards. She winced and grunted in discomfort. With his other hand, Tony grabbed her left arm, stretching it out, preparing it for the injection.
"Don't do it, Tony!" Hutch protested. "What if something goes wrong? She and the baby should be in the hospital!"
"Relax, cop. Women have babies this way, everyday, right doc?" The doctor nodded in agreement as he injected the liquid into Julies' vein. "Nothing's gonna go wrong."
With that, the doctor removed the syringe. Although her eyes were filled with fear as she stared at Hutch, Julie didn't protest. She knew that it would be pointless and probably painful. Tony released her and stood up, walking away.
"Now we just wait!"
Ernie was leaning against the building, enjoying a long drag off his cigarette. Down the alley, he could see the headlights of an approaching vehicle. The driver is probably lost, he thought. He stood upright, flicking his cigarette away and adjusting his gun for easier access. He straightened his coat and lifted the collar as he walked into the path of the oncoming car. Ernie held up one hand, trying to block the glare of the headlights. As it got closer, he realized it was the cab that had dropped Julie off.
"What the heck is he doing back?" He thought out loud.
With the high-beams blinding him, he could only make out the shadow of the driver. He approached the cabbies window and bent down. Inside the car was a uniformed officer wearing the Indians' jacket. By the time he figured out what was happening, and reached for his gun, he could feel the cold steel of Starskys' gun at the base of his neck.
"Move, and it'll be your last! Let me see your hands!" Starsky ordered as the other officers came out of the darkness. Ernie obliged lifting both his hands to his head. Starsky reached around the stout man and took the gun out of his waist band, turning it around and handing it butt first to Dobey. "Get him outta here, Cap'."
Inside, Julie was up walking around. The doctor had told Tony that it would speed up the labor and delivery process. While Favale was talking to one of his men, Julie managed to wander up to Hutch.
"How you feelin'?" He asked her.
"Like time's running out. How 'bout you?" She reached up and grabbed his arm, her knees buckling slightly as she held on for support. She rested her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes and sighing.
"Favale," Hutch cried out. "You need to sit her down before she falls down!"
With his head, Tony motioned for Olsen to assist her. The young uniformed officer went to her side and helped her back to the bed and sat her down. As she raised her head, she saw Olsen's gun, at eye level. In its' holster, on his hip…
Inside the warehouse, Starsky and his team were quickly making their way through the building. Starsky could hear the voices from the other room. He looked up and saw a series of ladders and catwalks. He headed up, hoping to get a 'birds eye' view of what they were up against.
Julie sat on the bed, breathing steadily. Hutch figured the contractions had begun. Olsen stood vigil at the bedside. Julie kept one eye on Tony, the other on Hutch. Tony started to pace across the warehouse floor, actually acting like an expecting father. He excused himself and disappeared into the office.
Julie was feeling desperate. Starsky was nowhere in sight. He wasn't coming. Hutch couldn't do anything… It was up to her.
Starsky could see from the rafters, where, where Julie and Hutch were in the room. He saw Favales' men. Once he had an idea where the players were, he headed back to the other officers to formulate a plan.
Julie let out a moan and fell forward clutching her stomach. She reached for Olsen's hand letting out short, quick breaths of air. Olsen looked confused, not knowing how to handle the situation. He squeezed her hand and leaned in for support. Julie bent around him and looked at Hutch, giving him a wink. Hutch shook his head ever so slightly and raised his eyebrow. He didn't want her to take any chances. Without warning, and acting like she was leaning on him for support, Julie reached around Olsens' waist. In one swift move she un-holstered and lifted his pistol.
Holding it with two shaking hands, finger on the trigger, she ordered Olsen to back away. He obeyed. She waived the weapon back and forth between Olsen, the doc, and the other three men in the room. Warning them to stay put. She pointed with the gun, towards Hutch. "Untie him!" She instructed Olsen, who quickly moved behind the detective and started working the ropes.
Starsky discussed the situation with his men. They split up, with Starsky and two other officers planning to make the grand entrance through the main doors. He figured if they could accomplish a surprise attack, they would have the upper hand that they so desperately needed. Starsky pulled the slide on his gun, cocking it, and placed his back firmly against the wall on the right side of the door. He waited for everyone to get into position, holding his weapon in both hands, aimed at the ceiling. Sweat was beading up on his face.
Once Olsen had untied Hutch, the detective began rubbing his wrists, trying to stimulate the circulation. He let both arms dangle freely at his side, smiled and winked at Julie, then balled up his fist. With all his strength, he swung around catching Olsen squarely on the chin, knocking him out cold. God that felt good!!!!
Hutch started moving in Julie's direction as the office door swung open. One of Tony's' men shouted a warning to him and he drew his weapon as he entered the room. Julie had Olsen's gun trained on Favale, while Favale's gun found its target, Hutch. Stalemate! She thought. Her eyes darted from Hutch to Favale and back again. She rose up off the bed, moving towards Hutch.
"Put the gun down!" Tony ordered her.
"I can't!" She yelled, stopping just a few feet away from Hutch. "I won't let you win!" She paused, looking at the detective. "I'm sorry, Ken." He looked back at her wondering what she meant by that.
Shaking and sobbing she turned the gun around, pointing it at her stomach.
"Julie." Hutch said softly. "Don't do this." He wanted to move closer to her, but was afraid she'd do something drastic.
Favale glared at Julie. "You wouldn't dare!"
"Don't push her Favale, back off!" Hutch warned him.
Julie placed her hand on her belly. "I can't let you have him, he'd be better off dead, than with you." She said desperately. Her tear-filled eyes met Hutch's. She couldn't believe what she was considering. She may have just reached that breaking point Starsky was worried about earlier.
A loud noise came from the right side of the room. "Police! Freeze!" Starsky yelled as he and several other officers entered the room. The sudden noise and movement startled Favale. With his gun still pointed at Hutch, he pulled the trigger.
Julie lunged towards Hutch, purely out of reflex. She had her back to Favale. Her eyes met with Hutch's just as she felt the hot burn of the bullet pierce her flesh. He reached out to grab her before she hit the ground. At first he didn't realize she had been shot, he felt warm moisture in the palm of his hand. Examining his hand closer, it was crimson red. His eyes widened in fear. "Dear God, no!" He mumbled.
There was a hail of gunfire. Starsky concentrating his aim at Favale. When the smoke cleared Favale was down, along with two of his men. The doctor held his hands above his head. "Please, don't shoot!" He pled.
Keeping his weapon on Favale, Starsky moved towards him. He kicked the gun out of his hand, bending down, checking for a pulse. Albeit, weak but he had a pulse. He stood and was face to face with Olsen. Nose to nose, the look of hatred on Starsky's face was unlike he had ever shown before. "You make me sick!" The other officers were running around the room securing the other fugitives.
"Get me an ambulance!" Hutch screamed at the top of his lungs. Starksy looked in his direction. He saw Hutch laying Julie on the ground. That sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, returned. Starsky saw the blood on Hutch's hands.
"Hutch?" He moved quickly to her side. "Hutch, is she…"
"No, she's alive." Hutch tried to roll her on her side to check her wound. It looked like the bullet hit her in the upper right shoulder. She gasped in pain.
"What, how'd this happen? Are you okay, partner?" Starsky asked.
Hutch looked up at Starsky, his eyes beginning to tear. "She saved my life, Starsk. Favale was aiming at me!"
Starsky leaned into Julie. "Listen, Julie, you're gonna be okay. Ya' here me?"
"Dave," she said weakly. "Is Hutch alright?"
"I'm right here, honey. I'm fine. What'd you go and do that for?" He smiled at her.
"The way I see it," she winced and took a deep breath, "I was a dead woman anyways." She stopped for a moment and bit her lower lip. "I didn't want to see him take one of you with me!"
"Where in the hell is the ambulance!" Hutch yelled.
Starsky looked up as they were taking the handcuffed doctor out of the room. "Wait!" He yelled. "Bring him back here." He looked at the cuffs. "Take those off." He instructed the officer in his charge. Starsky grabbed the doc by the collar and pulled him roughly down to his knees. With one hand pointing at Julie, the other still on the mans collar he ordered, "you're gonna help her! If you don't I'm gonna send some very 'large' friends of mine to visit you in prison! You got me?"
The man examined the wound to Julie's back. One of the officers brought clothes he had found. They were relatively clean and would serve their purpose. The doctor placed some of the cloth against the wound, he took Starsky's hand and placed over the cloth. "Keep pressure on it." Julie again shuddered and winced in pain, which made Starsky wince back.
"Sorry, sweetie, stay with us 'kay?" He said sympathetically.
"I'm trying. It hurts, guys."
"Dammit! I'm sorry Julie, that bullet was meant for me." Hutch said.
"Don't be sorry, Hutch," Starsky explained. "It's such a wasted emotion." He looked down and winked at Julie. She smiled and let out a small cough. Hutch looked confused. "I'll explain later."
"The wound isn't life threatening we just have to keep her from going into shock." The doc stated. He pointed to Hutch. "You raise her feet, keep them above her head." Hutch complied. Pulling over a box to prop them on.
They heard the sirens approaching, Hutch looked up and told one of the boys in blue, motioning to the doc, "Get him outta here, we're done with him."
With Hutch and Starsky on either side of her Julie looked up, one tear running down the side of her face.
"Tony, did he make it?"
Hutch looked over at Dobey, who was by Favale's side and looked back at the officers, shaking his head from side to side.
"No Julie, he's dead. It's finally over." She cried out loud. But this was out of relief, not sadness.
Starsky and Hutch's eyes met momentarily.
"Hey guys?" She started to settle down. "Do me a favor."
"Anything, you name it." Hutch offered.
The paramedics were just entering the room.
"Get the doc back here…my water just broke!"
You could see the panic in their faces. "Medic!" Starsky screamed. The gentlemen were headed their direction. All of a sudden the two detectives couldn't think straight. They have kept their cool in tougher situation than this, but this really shook them. They began stuttering and stammering to the paramedics.
"She's havin' a baby. She's been shot, and she's havin' a baby!" Starsky tried to make sense, but couldn't get the words out in the right order. "Her water, she's been shot, and her water's broken!" The medical attendants smiled at the nervous detective,
"Calm down, we'll take care of her!" They assured both of them.
They started an IV and prepared her for transport with both Starsky and Hutch looking over their shoulder, making sure she was well taken care of. Hutch rode in the ambulance with her, while Starsky followed closely in the Torino.
By the time they got to the hospital, Julie was in hard labor. They took her immediately to the delivery room; her shoulder would have to wait.
Starsky insisted Hutch have a doctor check him out. His side hurt pretty bad, and it hurt to take a deep breath. A couple of broken ribs would explain that. They waited in the waiting room for word on Julie's condition.
After what seemed an eternity, a man dressed in surgical scrubs entered. "You're the two that came in with Julie Adams?" He inquired. They both rose to their feet.
"Yeah, doc, how is she?" Hutch asked.
"She'll be fine, they've taken her to surgery to remove the bullet in her shoulder."
"What about the baby?" Starsky questioned the man.
"The baby's fine. A healthy boy. They're taking him to the nursery now, if you want to see him."
Hutch smiled broadly at Starsky, who was already beaming. They both headed to the fifth floor where the baby ward was.
They approached the glass window of the nursery. The room was lined with clear basinets. Babies everywhere. Some with pink blankets, some with blue. They scanned the room for baby Adams. A nurse entered the room with a baby and placed him in a basinet near the back of the room. She was blocking their view as she got the infant situated. Another nurse came in with a blue card in her hand. She tapped the nurse on the shoulder and pointed to Starsky and Hutch. With an understanding nod, she took the blue card and put it in place on the basinet, then moved out of the way.
Both of the detectives' eyes welled up as they read the name card.
'David Kenneth Adams'
They each put an arm around the other in a symbol of a job well done.
Julie lay in the hospital bed, her right arm in a sling and her shoulder bandaged. She cradled the baby in her left. The door to her room flew open. Coming through the entrance was the biggest Teddy Bear she'd ever seen in her life! She couldn't even see Starsky or Hutch behind it. Hutch walked in carrying the oversized animal, Starsky was behind him, carrying balloons and flowers. The put their gifts down and made their way to her bedside, taking turns kissing her on the cheek.
"You look great!" Hutch commented. Starsky attention was taken by the baby she was holding. He cooed and baby talked the infant. "How ya' feelin'?"
"Not bad! For someone whose just had a baby, been kidnapped, beaten, and shot, that is." She joked.
"Come to think of it, you do look great." Starsky conferred. He returned his attention to the little one.
"Wanna hold him?" She offered. At first Starsky looked scared, then excited, then scared again. He reached for the baby.
"Careful, Starsk. They break easily." Hutch looked very concerned.
Starsky gave him a look of disdain. He took the baby gently in his arms and walked towards the window, talking 'baby talk' the whole way.
"So what're plans from here?" Hutch asked Julie, joining Starsky by the window admiring the little one.
She looked sad, "Gonna go stay with my family in Colorado for awhile, at least till I get on my feet. Then work on makin' a life for me and little David here." Starsky shot her a proud grin and wink. Hutch rolled his eyes; once again he gets second billing. "Kinda scary, I've got a lot of work ahead of me, and I'm gonna miss you guys terribly."
"Well, don't forget, Uncle Ken and Uncle Dave will always be here to help you out!" Starsky said to the child in his arms, as well as to Julie.
"Don't be surprised if I take you up on that."
"We're counting on it!" Uncle David stated his and Hutch's feelings.