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BROKEN

The Fix from Hutch's POV

by

Kerry OK

 

 CHAPTER ONE

"See you slaves in a few days. Hey partner, buy another candy bar." I toss a quarter to Starsky and say goodnight. I head out the door for a long weekend with my lady Jeanie. A quick shower, throw a few things into my suitcase and I'm on my way to the beach house. I can't wait to get there. Life doesn't get any better than this.

A tune pops into my head and I find myself whistling as I enter my apartment. I've been whistling a lot since I met Jeanie a few months ago. I sense someone behind me. I quickly turn and face my attacker, then I feel pain as a blunt object strikes me on the back of my head.

I awake to darkness, I realize I'm blindfolded. I am sitting in chair with my hands bound tightly behind me. Any attempt to move them and the ropes cut my skin. My head is throbbing, I have no idea where I am or who brought me here. I wonder if I am alone.

I hear a voice. "He's awake. Go get Monk."

I hear a door open. "Is anyone there?" Someone backhands me across the face. "Guess so, what do you want?" I hear a door slam shut.

"Hutchinson, we want to know where Jeanie Walden is." The voice says with authority.

"My name is Starsky. You have the wrong guy." A blow is thrust into my mid-section knocking the wind out of me. I catch my breath. "I'm telling you I'm Starsky and I don't know anyone named Jeanie."

"We know who you are Hutchinson and we've seen you with Jeanie. Tell us where she is or we will beat the crap out of you."

"You're mistaken, it happens a lot, people confuse me with Hutchinson."

More blows to my middle, I double over and get punched in the face. More punches to my face, I get hit hard in the mouth and I can taste the blood. Repeated blows to my body and my face. The blows are coming so quickly now I am finding it difficult to catch my breath. And it hurts oh God it hurts. I'm feeling dizzy and on the verge of passing out.

I am grabbed firmly by the hair and my head jerked backwards. I can tell that the voice is losing patience with me.

"Tell us where she is Hutchinson. Where is Jeanie Walden!"

I answer with silence. I will never tell them. They'll never break me; I'll die first.

More blows to my middle, punches to my face. My head lolls around, I'm fading fast. My head is throbbing and my body is wracked with pain. Unconsciousness is welcome. I am grabbed by my hair again which pulls me back from the brink of oblivion. The voice asks again. "Where is she Hutchinson?"

I stick with my story. "I'm Starsky. I don't know what you're talking about."

The voice is agitated. "Don't be stupid Hutchinson, she's only a broad. You tell us where she is and you wake up in your own bed tomorrow like nothing happened."

I feel the blackness falling over me. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Do it to him." I hear the voice instruct. Another blow to my head is welcome, because then the blackness will cover me and I'll feel no more pain.

I awake still blindfolded and the taste of blood lingers in my mouth. I wonder how long I have been here. I have no concept of time. I know it is wishful thinking but I hope Starsky is looking for me. I realize that is impossible. He couldn't know I am missing. I didn't tell him where I was going. I wanted my days off uninterrupted. I couldn't get called in, if nobody knew where I was. Good move Hutchinson. My days off were now days in hell with my captors.

My left arm is freed. I try to flex my numb fingers. My arm is being held firmly as someone ties a band tightly around my upper arm. An elbow is jabbing into my neck. I try to pull away but again I am grabbed firmly by the hair. Oh God, I know what is coming. I wait for the prick of the needle. They are going to inject a poison into me. Heroin maybe? My death will be caused by an overdose of heroin? Or some other substance that will cause my body to forget to breathe? I feel a lump in my throat so large it cuts off my air. My body tenses with fear. I don't want to die. I picture Jeanie's beautiful face. Then I see Starsky how he is overcome with grief when my body is found. I am not prepared to die. But can you ever prepare for death? As a cop you know it lurks around ever corner. I'd always thought I'd die of a gunshot wound. Not like this.

The voice is in control and it knows it. I am helpless but at the same time I am empowered. I will not tell them, they will not break me; I will die first. My life for hers. For love, for honor and for duty, I win. I am grateful it will be swift and painless. There is a God, and I am comforted.

"You got one more chance. Where is she?" The voice speaks with no emotion. It is very ready to plunge a needle into my outstretched arm. Hands hold me firmly in place. I never hesitate and I spit out my reply. "Stuff it!" Not the most poetic last words, but they get my message across.

I feel the needle sink into my skin and the substance course through my veins. Am I dying? My pain is diminishing and I feel a rush like nothing I have ever known. I have found euphoria. But is this death? My arm feels heavy as it drops to my side and I collapse into the chair. I am breathing. I am alive. I hear the voice again.

"There you go cop, first mile on a long, long trip."

Trip? A pleasure cruise. I feel no more pain. I feel flushed and my mouth is extremely dry. None of it matters because I feel so good. I realize that they gave me heroin. Why? My captors lead me onto a bed and bind my wrists behind me and I remain blindfolded. I hear the voice again he tells others to put some coffee on and I hear the door close.

 

CHAPTER TWO

I am very tired, my trip has ended and my head is throbbing. My body aches. I am extremely thirsty. I hear the door open and I call out. "I need some water. I'm very thirsty."

"Sure Blondie. I'll get you some water." This is an unfamiliar voice. He lifts a glass of water to my parched lips and I start to drink. He is pouring the water into my mouth so quickly that I start to choke. I hear him laugh. He is amused that I am choking. I feel nauseous and I gag. He pulls the glass away.

They untie my wrists and inject another dose into my veins.

Time has no meaning. I don't know if it is day or night. I'm not sure I even care. I have accepted my fate. I live here now and wait for the voices to come. They bring me sips of water and my medicine. It seems like a long time since the voices last came. I wait anxiously for their return. I try to get off of the bed but with my wrists bound behind me and in my woozy state I cannot get my balance and I fall back onto the bed.

The door opens and I am injected with my medicine. I feel better. The voices have been kind. No more pain, just that glorious rush. But with each dose the rush isn't as good as the time before. I am beginning to feel I cannot live without it. I will die if they take it away. But why would they? I can't remember what they wanted from me. Why am I here? My thoughts are cloudy. Then I remember that they wanted Jeanie.

The door opens and I hear the voices again. They pull me up from the bed and take a hold of my arm again. They think that if they drug me I will tell them where she is. I will not, no way. I try to sound defiant. "You lousy creeps. I'm not going to tell you anything."

I hear the voice. "Another day of this and he'll have a regular ladder. I'm running out of veins. There."

I feel the needle pierce my skin and the heroin course through my veins. The rush is not so good anymore. I just feel tired. I want to sleep. I hear the voices talking.

"Look at him. Like a baby to the bottle. How about it baby, gonna tell us where the little mommy is?

"It's when he doesn't get it, that's when he'll talk. I figure another day of this."

For the first time in I don't know how long, there is light shining in my eyes. It is blinding and it hurts to look at it. Is it the sun? Oh how I used to love the sun on my face. Not now. Not anymore. It hurts to look at it. I want it to go away but I am saddened when it does. I am back in darkness, teetering on the brink of the abyss and I fall in.

The voices have been gone a very long time now. Longer than any other time. I am very sick. I know I am dying. I am so cold and I am shaking with chills. I can't control my body anymore and it screams with pain. My stomach aches and I wretch. Dry heaves. There is nothing in me to bring up. I can't remember the last time I ate. I need some help. Where are the voices with my medicine? I know I'm going to die. I must have my medicine.

The voices come back and untie me. I start to relax because I know my medicine is coming. They lead me to a chair. I sit and I wait but they don't give me my medicine. They remove my blindfold and the light is in my eyes again.

"Hey cop, what's your name?" The question comes from an evil voice I have not heard before.

"Gimme some help, some help." I plead but I am slapped across the face and the evil voice asks angrily. "What's your name, what's your name!"

I scream out. "Hutchinson! What's yours you lousy creep. Gimme some help?"

The light is blaring in my face. I want it to stop. I hear the evil voice speak again. "That's fantastic huh what a little change in body chemistry will do."

I want him to leave. That voice is very cold, inhuman in fact. I try to be strong. "Get outta here, leave me alone."

"Sure baby we'll get outta here." The evil voice taunts me. The light is gone. I am overcome with fear. I need help. Someone has to help me. I reach out into the darkness and fall off of the chair. "Don't go, don't go. I need help." I plead with the voice.

"Hey where's Jeanie Walden? Where's Jeanie Walden? What did you do with her? Jeanie Walden, where is she?" The evil voice is demanding an answer. I attempt to stand but he pushes me down onto the floor. The light shines in my face again.

"I don't know, I don't know. Gimme some help." Desperation is taking me over. I need my medicine.

"You think you're bad now sucker in a couple hours you'll be banging your head against the floor. Now where is she?"

My mind is very foggy. I don't know why he is asking me these questions. Why does he need to know? Who is he? Where is my medicine? Where is the voice that brings it to me? If he leaves maybe the voice with the medicine will come? I don’t know. I am confused. Jeanie, where is she? "I don't know where, the beach." I mumble.

He grabs me by the wrist and seethes. "What beach, where'd you take her?"

Why is he asking me this? I have to get to Jeanie. I can't. Maybe he'll bring her here. I can't think straight. God I need my medicine. Yeah bring Jeanie here. "Seaview… Seaview Point Point."

"Seaview Point." The voice repeats. The light is gone. I feel I am alone in the darkness. "Don't go. Don't leave me!" I cry out. No one responds.

I curl up on the floor. My body is wracked with pain, I am very sick. So very cold, my body twitches uncontrollably and I bang my head against the floor. I'm ready to pass out when hands lift me off the floor and put me on the bed. They take my arm and inject my medicine into me. I get the most incredible rush. Relief washes over me.

I'm not sure what I am seeing. Jeanie? They really brought her here. Jeanie comes to me and sits beside me on the bed. She gently touches me and says my name so sweetly, "Oh Hutch." She unties me and hugs me. She seems sad. She doesn't realize how wonderful I feel. I smile at her. She is beautiful. She is gone too soon.

I am led from the only home I have known for days and put into a car. I huddle on the floor of the backseat. I hear the voices talking.

"If you take Ninth you can hit the freeway to the harbor."

"I'll drive, you keep your eye on him."

"Where do you figure Monk?"

"Off the point, waters deep, current ought to carry that body out about two hundred miles."

"By then he ought to be shark's bait."

They're going to kill me. Throw my body into the ocean. I have to get away. Instinctively I thrust my long legs forward and drive my foot into the face of one of my captors. The car screeches to a halt and I bolt out the door. I run. I run. I have no idea where I am running to, I just run as fast as my debilitated body can run. I am doubled-over in pain. But I run until I am spent and cannot go another step and I collapse onto the ground. Someone is beside me and tells me that help in on the way. It is a patrolman but I'm not sure whether or not I know him. I hear a siren in the distance and it is getting closer. I feel myself fading fast. I fear it is too late.

I hear Starsky's voice. "Hutch, you crazy." It is the most beautiful sound in the world. My partner pulls me up. I am panting, I want to speak to him but I cannot form any words. He looks at me like he doesn't recognize me.

"He's your partner, isn't he?"

"Yeah."

Starsky pulls up the sleeve of my shirt. I don't understand why. Doesn't he realize that I need some help?

"Oh my God, he's a junkie." The patrolman says with shock and disgust in his voice.

A wave of nausea overcomes me. Starsky puts his arms around me as I double over in pain.

"Shut up, I’ll handle it." Starsky tells him.

"I've got to make a report."

"Don't report it. This didn't happen Bernie, understand. This didn't happen. I'll take responsibility."

Starsky helps me to the Torino. I am too weak to speak and I feel myself fading into blackness.

 

CHAPTER THREE

When I awake Starsky and Huggy are bringing me up to Huggy's apartment. Huggy leaves and Starsky helps me onto the bed. My body convulses. I have been too long without my medicine. I have tremendous stomach cramps. Why doesn't Starsky give me some medicine? He wraps his arms around me. He speaks to me in soothing tones.

"It's okay." Starsky is holding me close and rubbing my arms as I shake uncontrollably.

I cry out for Jeanie and beg Starsky for some help. "Please Starsky give me something."

Huggy comes into the room he says to Starsky. "Oh man he's hurting." Huggy knows, he understands.

Starsky just holds me tightly. "It's all right." He tries to soothe me. I have to make him understand so I plead some more. "Gimme some medicine, please. Gimme some medicine." Instead he gives me a cup of coffee.

He brings the cup to my mouth. "Hutch I know it's hot. Easy, easy, easy!"

I greedily gulp the coffee and then gag.

"Hold on to it Hutch. Come on hold on to it. Come on hold on to it." Starsky admonishes.

He tries to get me to drink another cup of coffee. I don't want any damn coffee. I need some help. I need my medicine. He brings the coffee cup towards my mouth and I bat it away onto the floor. Now maybe he gets it.

I am shaking so badly. The cramps in my stomach are constant and my stomach feels like it is in a vise. If I could just have a little medicine, the pain would stop. Why won't Starsky give me some medicine? I hear Huggy tell him that it will be forty-eight hours of sweat and pain. But it doesn't have to be that way, if they would just give me some medicine.

"I'm so cold." I whimper and Huggy covers me with a blanket.

They are talking like I am not even here. Don't they know I hear every word they say? I hear them, but they won't hear me. My pleas for help fall on deaf ears.

"Starsky tell me how, who? Huggy asks. Starsky doesn't know. He wasn't there. I can tell him, yet I do not speak. I cannot.

Starsky gives him an explanation. "They tied his wrists, pumped him full of stuff. Somehow he got away."

His few words and the nightmare comes flooding back. I want to speak but my body convulses again.

Starsky holds me tighter and speaks softly. "It's okay boy. It's okay. Easy." He rubs my arm trying to keep me warm. He continues. "They're gonna come looking for him, whoever they are. Right now nobody knows where he is except you and me, got that?"

I realize he knows as much as I do.

Huggy asks about Captain Dobey. I shudder to think what will happen when he finds out. What if the department finds out? My career will be over. Then I hear Starsky tell Huggy that he'll call Dobey. Starsky will take care of it. I don't have to worry.

Starsky asks Huggy for more coffee. I gag just thinking about it. He holds me as he rubs my neck and my arm. "It's okay. I'm right here." He soothes. I hold on to him for dear life. I beg him for some help. I plead with him for some help. He offers words of encouragement in his own inimitable way, that even though I am horribly ill, I smile. "I'm right here boy. I'm right here. You're gonna make it you big lummox."

He brings a cup of coffee to my mouth and I drink it. My stomach has completely closed up and I am unable to keep it down. I throw up all over Starsky's leg. He doesn't say a word. Huggy gets a towel and they clean it up. Starsky will not give up. He tries to bring another cup of coffee to my mouth. I plead with him.

"Starsky no more coffee. I can't. My stomach, it hurts. It hurts."

"Hutch you have to drink it. You need the fluids. Come on try. Slowly. Easy does it."

I sip the coffee very slowly. Tiny sips. Starsky is extremely patient. The cramps in my stomach become unbearable. I pull away from Starsky and run to the bathroom. I sit on the toilet and the diarrhea pours out of me. Starsky knocks on the door, the worry evident in his voice, asks me how I am. I lie and tell him I'm fine. I look in the mirror. This is the first time I have seen myself. I barely recognize myself. My face is bruised, pale and drawn. I looked like death warmed over. I look like a junkie. I am perspiring profusely so I splash some cold water on my face. I start to head out of the bathroom when a wave of nausea hits me and I am on my knees with my head in the toilet, heaving the little coffee I had drunk. I collapse onto the cold hard tile floor, unable to move. I weakly call out for Starsky. He comes into the bathroom and he and Huggy help me back to the bed.

"I need help Starsk. Please." I am near tears. Starsky sits next to me on the bed and with a wet cloth, washes my forehead and face. I know he is trying to bring down my fever. The cramps are intensifying. I am seized by another convulsion and I slam my head against the wall. Starsky takes me in his arms and tries to comfort me. The hours pass slowly. My agony continues and I get angry and mean. Starsky holds his ground. He has a strength that I cannot find in me. I want to give up but he will not let me. I cry out, he holds me tighter. When I weep, he wipes my tears. He tells me how strong I am. It is a long and painful night and I know the worst is yet to come.

We watch the sunrise. Something that I know Starsky doesn't see very often unless we work the graveyard shift. I am still shaking with chills. The pain is intensifying. I am parched but every liquid I drink I throw up. My stomach is extremely sore. I have made more trips to the bathroom then I care to count. Stuff is coming out of both ends. I curl up into a ball hoping to crush the pain. I cannot fight anymore and I start pounding my head against the wall. I want to pass out. Starsky holds me tightly in his arms and speaks to me in soothing tones.

"Hang on. Hang on Hutch."

It doesn't comfort me. I need my medicine. I hate Starsky. He won't help me. I hate him and I tell him that. "I hate you. You are not my friend. You let me suffer like this. Don't you see how much pain I'm in! I need some medicine." I see he is unmoved and it makes me angry and I scream at him. "I HATE YOU!"

Starsky looks at me expressionless. He proffers another cup of coffee. I drink it.

"If you're a good boy you can have a candy bar." He says wryly. I am not amused. But to my amazement I ask for a candy bar. He unwraps a candy bar and gives it to me. I devour it in two bites. He gives me his patented Starsky lopsided grin. "I hope it stays down." He places his hand on my shoulder. I reach up and grab it tightly. "Don't leave me. I didn't mean…" He cuts me off. "I'm not going anywhere."

Our light moment is destroyed as I am seized by a wave of pain. I start to gag. Starsky holds my head over a wastepaper basket and rubs my back as I vomit everything I just consumed and then some. I start to sob. "Starsky is it ever going to stop? I don't think I can do this anymore. Please help me." I see my pain in his eyes. He looks so tired. He would have to be. He has been with me every step of the way.

He sits me up on the bed and cradles me in his arms. I drink another cup of coffee. We are hopeful that I can keep it down. I make a decision however to stay away from those candy bars.

Huggy brings up some ice. I know he and Starsky are very fearful I will become severely dehydrated. I am too. The ice does ease my parched mouth somewhat. If I could just hold the coffee down but my stomach will not cooperate.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

Time passes so slowly. Minutes hang like hours and hours feel like days. I am getting very agitated. I have been a prisoner for days. I want out! Starsky thinks a game of checkers will take my mind off things. I can't concentrate on the stupid game. I can't concentrate on anything. Damn it, I need a fix. I need it now. In a fit of anger I send the game flying onto the floor. I have had enough.

"You wanna help me, help me! Come on do something!" Starsky anticipating my next move; moves toward the door and locks it. I lunge at him and grab his jacket. "You know where the stuff is!" He maintains a stony fašade. I pound my hand into the wall and storm away. I walk over to the dresser and pick up a candy wrapper. "Can I get a candy bar?"

Starsky walks over to me and hands me a candy bar but warns, "You're not gonna be able to keep it down."

Tell me something I don't know. I unwrap it but don't even take a bite. Huggy comes in and talks to Starsky. I can't hear what they are saying. I watch Starsky, waiting to make my move. Starsky starts to move away from the door, this is my opportunity to make a break for it. But he stops me. He blocks my every move. I am angry. "I want some candy. I just want some candy. I just want some candy." I insist but he stands his ground. "Just let me out!"

"I can remember a man that hated candy." He calmly replies.

"Oh shut up!" I yell at him.

"Now there's the Hutch I know." He smiles at me. I bow my head in shame. He pulls me into him and pats me on the back to let me know it is okay. "Yeah you got a ways to go. Come on. Come on." Defeated I walk away and in anger I send everything that is on Huggy's dresser crashing to the floor. I look at myself in the mirror and I am disgusted.

Huggy asks Starsky if there is anything we need. Starsky tells him to bring more coffee and some candy. If he thinks I'm gonna drink another cup of coffee he is sadly mistaken.

I sit in a chair and Starsky sits across from me. I know it is question and answer time.

"Feel like talking?"

"No."

"Good. Who were they?"

"I don't know."

"What did they want?"

"I don't know. I don't know, you wanna be my friend, help me!" I know he knows I'm lying. He gently presses.

"What'd they want?"

It pains me to say it. "Jeanie. They wanted Jeanie. I think I told them where she was. I don't know." Starsky tells me it's okay. I know it is not.

"How many different voices did you hear?"

"Three or four."

"Names."

"I don't know."

"Names."

"I don't know. Come on Starsky!" I am angry and I don't want to discuss this.

"Names." He says again firmly. I know I have to come up with an answer.

"Monk."

"Who?"

"Monk, Monk." That is the only name I can remember.

"Did you get a look at any of them?"

"No. I was blindfolded most of the time and when I wasn't there was a bright light in my eyes. I couldn't see anything."

"Do you have any idea who could have been looking for Jeanie?"

"I don't know." I am getting very agitated. I don't want to answer any more questions. But Starsky presses.

"Think, come on, anything."

"I knew she was afraid of someone. She didn't tell me who. I intended to get some answers this past weekend at the beach."

"Huggy told me that you had to take her out of here one night in a hurry. Did you see anyone?"

"No. She was working and she called me up. I raced over here. She was really shook up. I took her home." I start rocking back and forth.

"Okay. It's okay."

"No! It is not okay. I told them Starsky. I promised I would protect her and I told them where she was. Oh God. If they hurt her. We have to find her Starsky. I can't believe I told them where she was. Oh God!"

"Hey take it easy. It's okay. Try to think. Did they say why they wanted her?"

"I don't know. No. They just wanted to know where she was. I don't know why. I told you, she was scared that's why I took her to the beach. She was afraid to be in her apartment."

Starsky tries to calm me down. "It's all right, easy." But he still presses for more. "Did you get a look at who grabbed you?"

"It all happened so fast. I can't remember a face. I just remember getting hit on the head and when I came to they got me tied up and blindfolded. They worked me over good and said they'd let me go if I told them where she was. I wouldn't tell them. But then they started in with the needle. I told them. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." I choke back the tears.

Starsky touches my arm trying to reassure me. "It's okay. It not your fault, you have nothing to feel sorry about."

I rise from the chair. I feel Starsky's eyes follow me around the room. I take half a step toward the door and he is there. I glare at him. He is not my friend he is my guard. I want to go outside so desperately. Who am I kidding, I want a fix so desperately. I know it is useless so I throw myself onto the bed. The pain is not constant anymore, but comes in waves of varying intensity. I draw my knees up to my stomach and wait for the pain to pass.

"Hey Starsk. I got a question for you. What did Huggy tell you, you know when he came up here before."

I see his hesitation but he tells me. "He said some guy came around asking about you and Jeanie. He got the license plate of the car he was in. When I get a hold of Dobey, I'm gonna have him run it. Hutch, I'll get them." He states emphatically, as if I ever had a doubt.

Huggy returns with the coffee and candy. Starsky pours a cup and drinks it. He hands me a cup. I set it aside. I don't want anymore coffee.

"You know pal, maybe coffee isn't a good idea."

He finally gets it.

"Try to sleep. I know I could use forty winks and then some." He says with that stupid grin on his face. It is going to be another long night.

Fatigue - no make that exhaustion finally overtakes me and I fall to sleep. A fitful sleep but it is sleep just the same.

I wake up and every muscle in my body aches. I have a stiff neck, which is mostly likely, because I slept sitting up. But I feel better. I feel like me. The worst is over.

Huggy enters the room with a tray of that damn coffee. The smell of it makes me sick.

"Nectar or is it ambrosia I never know which is which."

"Huggy you're beautiful." Starsky tells him.

"I know, but you and Hutch look awful."

Starsky looks over at me and smiles. "Welcome back."

"There's such a thing as a mercy killing." A little of the Hutchinson humor emerges.

"I would've let you slip off but Huggy never would've forgiven me."

"That's right. Care for a wash up? I stopped by your place and picked up some clothes. They're in the bathroom." Huggy hands me a towel and I thank him.

I stand in the hot shower. It feels great. I lather my hair and body. I scrub myself clean. I wish I could wash away the events of the passed several days. I have to settle for just feeling clean again. I try to shave with the razor Huggy left for me in the bathroom but it is dull. I forgo the shave because I have no desire to shred my face.

I come out of the bathroom. I move about slowly. I am very weak.

"Well, well, well." Huggy looks me over and I can tell he is happy with the improvement in my condition. I'm sure I smell a helluva a lot better.

"Thanks for the razor, it was dull." I toss Huggy the towel. "Where's Starsky?"

"He split. Then I get a call from Captain Dobey saying that Mickey, some cat named Mickey called and is trying to get in touch with him."

"Mickey?"

"Yeah he claims he's got some words that has to do with you."

"Well he's usually reliable. Wanna call me a cab?"

"You're not going anywhere."

"Huggy do you mind calling me a cab?"

"Okay you’re a cab, but you still ain't leaving here."

Huggy's attempt at humor falls flat. "I'm gonna need to borrow some money and I'll take a gun if you got one."

"Hutch you out your mind? You can't even tie your own shoes and you know I don't keep no gun."

"Huggy the cab."

Huggy relents and calls me a cab. I go to Mickey's usual hangout. I see him seated at a table drinking a beer. I stagger over to the table. I am overwhelmed by fatigue. I am finding it difficult to keep my eyes open. I sit opposite Mickey. I won't leave until I have some answers.

"Hey Mickey."

"Hey Hutch. What happened to you huh?"

"The word is that you can tell me."

"Yeah well you look okay but something about you, you look sick man or something."

"You had something to tell my partner, I'm listening."

My vision is very blurry. Mickey's face is coming in and out of focus. I try to shake it off but am unable to. My head lolls around. I can't concentrate and I nod out.

"So that's the whole scam Hutch, honest."

I don't understand. I don't remember him telling me anything. "Hey listen scum, I want it straight and I want it fast." I feel myself on the verge of passing out again when someone lifts me from the chair and brings me outside. I cannot resist and give little protest. I am far too woozy.

"I'm all right." I insist to this stranger.

"Sure, sure you're fine pal."

"Let me go. Let me go." I mumble as I feel myself fading fast. "I'm a little tired."

"We're gonna fix you right up. One beautiful pop and your troubles will be over."

"Where we going?"

"Dreamland pal, dreamland."

I hear a siren and it brings me to my senses. The sound is growing louder. I know it must be close. It must be Starsky. With what little strength I can muster I drive my head into the stranger and send him crashing to the ground and I run. Unfortunately there is nowhere to run. An unfamiliar car races up the alley blocking one exit, and the stranger is at the other gun drawn and he fires. I don't know how I do it but I manage to scale the fence and stay straddled upon it. Starsky arrives and a shootout unfolds and I am helpless to help him. It is a horrible feeling. I feel like an idiot for coming here. This stupid move, probably the dumbest thing I ever did, falls under the heading of it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I am relieved to see one of the gunman slumped to the ground. He is obviously dead. Starsky looks up at me in my ridiculous predicament and laughs. I know Starsky must have the situation under control if he can stand here and laugh at me.

"What's so funny?" I know the answer is me.

"You want me to send out for lunch or are you gonna come down from there." He smiles broadly.

I try to make my way down from the fence. Starsky helps me. "Come on partner." When I make it down, I fall into his embrace.

A black and white unit arrives and takes the other gunman into custody. A coroner's wagon removes the body of who we discover is Monk.

I survey the alley looking for something, I'm not quite sure what. I spot the heroin set-up on the ground. I pick it up. I am overcome with a feeling I do not like. Starsky takes it from my trembling hand and gives it to the patrolman. Starsky puts his arm around me and puts me into the Torino.

"I'm taking you back to Huggy's and this time you are going to stay there." He starts the car. "Then I'm going down to the station and take a run at this guy. He's all we got, and I'm gonna make sure he knows it. I don't think he's gonna want to face attempted murder of police officers and kidnapping alone."

I am quiet on the way to Huggy's. I am feeling agitated and nervous. I try to brush it off as the aftereffects of what just took place. But I know it is more. I know what I felt when I held that heroin in my hand. It scares me. I voice my fear to Starsky.

"Starsk, in the alley. I wanted it, but I didn’t want it. You know."

He places his hand on my shoulder. "I know. It's gonna take some time. You're gonna make it though. I know you are. One day at a time."

We arrive back at Huggy's. Starsky scolds Huggy for allowing me to leave as if poor Huggy really had a choice in the matter. I promise Huggy I won't give him any trouble and I crawl into bed.

"Hutch, I'll touch base with you later. Get some sleep."

"Starsk if this guy gives up anything, you'll…"

"You bet. I'll come back for you."

"Thanks."

Huggy sits in a chair and stares at me. "You ain't going nowhere. I'll wrestle you to the floor before you leave here again. Don't think I won't or can't do it." He says quite seriously.

I laugh. "Huggy I don't doubt you for a minute and I know you can, a toddler could wrestle me to the floor right now."

I close my eyes and fall asleep. I don't have the blissful sleep I hope for. I hear the voices again and I am beaten. Then I feel the hands on me and I am injected with heroin. And the voices over and over again asking, "Where is Jeanie Walden". I wake up in a cold sweat. Huggy tries to calm me. He tells me it was just a bad dream. It was more than that; it was a replay of my nightmare. I dread closing my eyes again.

Starsky returns and he has great news. He tells me that goon we arrested is named Coney. He cracked like an egg. He told Starsky that Ben Forest was the one that ordered my abduction and it was his twisted idea to string me out. Starsky and I know Forest. He's a snake and slippery as an eel. He is suspected of drug trafficking, extortion and racketeering but the charges never stick. We hope that would all change this time. Coney also gave up the address of another accomplice named Walsh. A black and white was sent over to the address and he was apprehended. Coney said Forest had Jeanie at his palace in Bel Air.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

The Torino speeds up the long driveway. I see Forest and Jeanie standing by his car. I get out of the car hoping my legs don't go out from under me.

"Go on Forest try it!" I yell. I wish he would make a move. Give us a reason. He just stands there and arrogantly stares me down. I search him but he is not carrying. I throw him up against the car and almost fall over. "What is this?" He asks bemused. He is so above it all.

Starsky takes over the search.

"What are the charges here?" He is still bemused but speaks in a more arrogant tone.

"Don't bore me with details. Your man sung like a stuck canary. So be a good boy huh." Starsky informs him.

He is still unfazed and he spews his hatred toward Jeanie. "Hey Jeanie, tell him about Vegas. Tell him about everything. You think he'll want you then?"

Starsky hustles him to the Torino and puts him in the back seat.

"Hutch you all right?" Jeanie asks with concern.

I give her a smile, which I hope allays her fears somewhat. I cannot move but I lift my arms and she comes to me and we hug.

It feels so good to feel her arms around me. We back away from the embrace and I look into her eyes. Something is not right. I can feel it. But I push any negative thoughts from my mind and I smile at her.

"You stay here and I'll be back after we book him."

"No. I… I won't be here. There's too much between us. Forest, what I was before."

I am unprepared for her response yet not completely surprised. Her words sting me yet I offer no argument. Maybe because I feel the same way. "Jeanie." Is all I say.

"Look what happened to you because of me." Her eyes are glistening with tears. "Look, look I'll be back. You can't get rid of me." She forces a smile.

I feel in my heart that is not an option I can afford her. I place my hand on her cheek. "No. If we're gonna end it, we're gonna end it. You won't be back."

"And you won't come looking for me either, will you?" She says hopelessly.

"No, no." I manage a smile. I feel an ache in my heart not only for all we lost but also for what might have been. I am finished, drained. Physically and emotionally spent. I walk wearily back to the Torino. I am ready to drop.

"You okay?"

"Yeah." I try to sound convincing. And again, in his own inimitable way, he smiles and says; "Wanna drive my car?"

I cannot help but laugh. Only Starsky could make me laugh when all I want to do is cry.

Forest is remarkably quiet on the drive to the station. I guess Starsky made him an offer he didn't dare refuse.

 

EPILOGUE

It has been a several weeks since my ordeal began. It took me a week to completely recover from my withdrawal symptoms. There have been days when I thought I wouldn't make it. But Starsky was there to help me through. Now there are only moments, brief fleeting moments where I get an urge. I fight it and I win because I am stronger. Starsky knew it all along. I just had to find it out for myself.

Captain Dobey showed he had faith in me. He gave Starsky and I an undercover assignment. We went under as drug dealers, Rafferty and O'Brien. He was Rafferty and I was O'Brien. We busted a drug lord named Danner. His drug of choice was heroin. I faced the monster head on. I beat it back. I never wavered. I know I can put it all behind me now.

 

Broken

I have faced many enemies
Every battle I have won
I thought I was the strongest
No challenge I couldn't overcome

I promised I'd protect her
And valiantly I tried
Till I faced an enemy that invaded me
Took me over from the inside.

It was like nothing I had ever fought before
I couldn't beat it off with my fists
My gun could not harm it
I was trapped in its mighty grip

I thought I'd die before I'd tell them
But the monster possessed me
I was lost and I felt hopeless
I told them after I was broken, so completely

I pray that she can forgive me
That she knows how hard I tried
I'm sorry that we had to part
And I'm sorry that she cried

It has been a long journey
To reclaim my broken soul
But my best friend walked with me

He gave me strength and I am whole