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Chapter 8

A Starsky and Hutch Reunion
Teri Colosimo 

Chapter 9


This was the first time Hutch had awakened without Trini by his side, and he didn't like it at all. He rolled over to find the note he knew had to be there: Trini was far too considerate not to leave him one. With a quick rub of his eyes, Hutch reached for the piece of paper on Trini's pillow.

"Good Morning, Detective," it started. "Had a couple errands to run. You don't know how sorry I was to leave you all alone in our bed! I'll make it up to you tonight--dinner out--my treat! I LOVE YOU!!!!!"

Hutch was feeling way too giddy, and he laughed at himself--he was happy as the proverbial schoolboy.

You got it good, Hutchinson: 1) the girl said she loved you and underlined it, 2) she's sorry she left your tired ass alone for awhile, and 3) she called it 'our' bed. She must like you a little! Not bad--not bad at all!

With a smile, he bounded out of bed, and started whistling as he headed for the shower.


Trini had said her goodbyes, and loaded up the boxes she'd brought with her. The entire "Zebra Three" was now filled up with everything Trini and Starsky still had at Metro. There was nothing left to do now but finish and leave.

Trini had turned in her uniforms, her final paperwork, and her service revolver. Now, handing over her office keys, she felt a little strange. Wasn't she supposed to be crying as she finished hauling her personal items downstairs? Maybe it wasn't so hard to leave the past behind when the future looked so promising.

Two detectives had helped Trini load the boxes into her car Starsky had already packed, and one of them still remained behind. Officer Baker wanted to say a private goodbye to Trini. He kicked his toe absently on the curb, never looking directly at Trini.

"I can't remember a time when a Starsky hasn't been on the force--it's gonna be so sad. I know you went by Bella, but Starsky told me. I think he felt bad for all the times he and Hutch misled an over-eager rookie."

Baker smiled a little, causing Trini to smile in memory, too. She'd heard stories of how the two men she loved so dearly tormented this man.

"It was bad enough when Hutch left, you know? Now all of you..."

Placing her hand on his shoulder, Trini told him, "We're still here, Baker. Just in different roles. Come visit anytime. I'm sure Ken would love to see you."

Baker looked at the Torino and slowly rubbed its top--he was going to miss this eyesore, too.

Trini put a hand on Baker's shoulder, and smiled. How could he have even cared when David and Ken were leaving? They were his senior officers, and they misled him (and straight out lied to him!) at every turn. Maybe she'd ask Ken to come visit Baker--for some reason he idolized the team known as Starsky and Hutch.

Trini held her hand out to say goodbye, and Baker awkwardly turned it into an embrace. "Tell Hutchinson 'hi' for me, O.K., Bella?"

She was going to talk to those two about their nasty games! "I will, Baker. Good luck."

Baker nodded and wordlessly turned away, leaving Trini alone. She took one long, last look at Metro. Sighing, Trini climbed in her car, and headed home.

I feel like a freakin' cowboy riding off into the sunset, here! Except, this is the start of the movie--not the end.


Hutch was just finishing his shower when he heard the doorbell ring. Quickly grabbing his robe, he hurried to answer it. Looking through the peep hole, he saw it was Huggy on the other side.

Trini's door opened and Huggy saw a very interesting sight. His dear, white friend--wet as a rat, and the water trail on the carpet was straight from Trini's room. Smiling, Huggy knew he'd been right about the growing chemistry between Trini and Hutch. Me thinks the man doth protest too much!

Huggy pushed past Hutch into the apartment, trying not to laugh.

"By all means, come in, Huggy."

"I did. Where is the lovely young maiden who resides here?" Huggy asked as he dropped onto the couch and looked around, making Hutch nervous.

"You, uh, want some coffee or somethin'?" Hutch offered--knowing he needed some. Nobody had entered into the realm of the lovers, and he still was a little confused on how to deal with it.

"No thank you. I have my reason for livin' and dyin' waiting at home to see me. I was just makin' sure Starsky's 'off-limits' little niece wasn't bored on her vacation."

Hutch turned from the coffee pot to stare at Huggy--he loved the man, but sometimes he didn't make any sense.

"What vacation?"

Huggy laughed. "Exactly, my brother. Before she got her wing clipped, she was headin' to those white and sunny beaches with the rest of the Starsky clan. Instead of livin' life large, she stuck with you, Goldilocks."

Whoa. She stayed with me even before she knew where we were headed. That's another one I owe you, pretty lady. Why didn't you tell me, Trini? Scared I'd get a little weird? Sorry.

Huggy's voice interrupted Hutch's musings. "Hutch? You listenin' to me?"

Hutch smiled. "I guess I'm still in bed asleep."

Huggy nodded. "Um-hm. Still in bed? I think you was wide awake then, too, my man."

"What are you trying to say, Huggy? I hate games this early in the morning. And in case you haven't noticed, Trini's not here."

"Growl at me all you want, Golden One. I am not the one you feel like talkin' to 'bout somethin' else."

Laughing at the squinty way Hutch was glaring at him, Huggy rose to leave. Stopping at the door, he called out, "I do believe I was wrong to worry 'bout Miss Starsky bein' bored. You have a nice day now."

Huggy barely got the last part out when Hutch threw a couch pillow at him--hitting the floor terribly off its mark.

Hutch glared at the closing door for a minute. "Asshole."


Contemplating what to do, a brooding Hutch sat alone on the couch. Should he call Starsky in Florida at the number they'd left for Trini? Should he wait to talk to Starsky face-to-face, and risk him seeing it like Huggy had?

Suddenly, the phone rang, ruining a really good blue funk for Hutch. It was probably better he quit stressing on it for now, anyway. He wasn't exactly getting any answers on his own.


"Hey, partner! Where's my niece?"

"Good, Starsk, and you?"

Starsky laughed. "Sorry, how are you?"

"I just told you, chump. How are you? Having a good time?" Guiltily, Hutch realized he was avoiding the subject of him and Trini way too easy--reasoning to himself it would be more "proper" to discuss it face-to-face.

"Yeah, I just have to tell Trini somethin'--is she there?"

"No, she's out. I think she'll be back soon. Want me to have her call you?"

It took Starsky a moment to answer. "I guess not. The boys and Leslie are in the pool, and I was just takin' a breather."

Hutch knew he shouldn't, but he couldn't hold back. "Why didn't anybody tell me I screwed up Trini's vacation by movin' in on her life? She only got nicked, Starsk--nothin' a little sun would've hurt."

Starsky laughed at his friend. "You can't make Trini do anything she don't want to, Hutch. She would've felt guilty if she'd left you there, and she thought you'd feel awkward being asked to join us. That was my plan. I was just gonna bring your grouchy ass with us, but Trini said you'd feel like you forced yourself on us. I wish you guys were here, though."

Hutch sighed heavily. "Don't you people ever get tired of feeling like I'm your responsibility?"

"Hey, pal. You're the best friend I ever had--I love ya. My family loves ya. You love us, right, so quit your mopin' around."

Hutch was momentarily silent on the other end. "I do love ya, Starsk."

"I love you, too, now quit goin' all soapy on me. You get a bank account open?"

Hutch had to laugh--Starsky and his jumpy train of thought. "Yeah, I got all my money safe and sound, Dad."

Cautiously, Starsky threw out, "You know, that money Maggie left ya' ain't gonna last forever. You figure out what you wanna be when you grow up?"

Hutch knew he was well off for now, but what if some major set-back hit? He would need money sometime--no matter what.

Not wanting to get too serious, Hutch answered, "Nah. I figure I'll wait for you to grow up first--seeing how you're older and all."

Hutch heard the snort loud and clear--even all the way from Florida. "I only got a few months on you, Blintz. Don't make it worse than it is." Starsky paused a moment, then blurted out, "I don't wanna be on the force without you anymore, Hutch. I think I'm done. We can open a liquor store or somethin'. You game?"

Running a hand through his hair, Hutch felt more than a little overwhelmed. "This is all real sweet, Starsky, but don't do something just for me. I wouldn't be this nice to you," he teased.

"The hell you wouldn't, pal. You're just bein' a sore loser 'cuz you didn't think of it first."

Hutch became very serious. "Starsky. We can't own a liquor store."

"Why not, Blintz?"

"Starsky, we'd never make any money--you'd drink all the profits."

Over their laughter, Starsky teased back, "You should talk, asshole. But seriously, you're pretty much just 'on loan' to the department, anyhow. You could quit just as easily as I can. Remember the time we threw our badges in the ocean? We could take a boat out, and make sure they were way gone this time."

"You're definitely a few bricks short, Starsk."

"I know, but will ya' think about it, Hutch?"

"Yeah, Starsk. For you, I will."

"Thanks. Tell Trini I called, huh?"

"Sure. Take care."

Hutch hung the phone up feeling horribly panic stricken--like a drowning man waiting for someone to toss him a line. He was totally blown away by what Starsky had just told him.

Is this all for my benefit, or does David Starsky need a major change, too?

Just as he was starting to feel like he might go down a third time, the phone rang again--and it was just the 'lifeline' he needed. "Hello?"

"Hey, sexy? Are you naked?" Trini teased.

Thank God you called, Baby. Your uncle just threw me for a loop, and I need a little sanity. "No. But I can be. Where are you?"

"On my cell phone."

"That's not what I meant."

"Um, third floor, now. I'll be there in approximately one minute."

"I'll be waiting. Hurry your ass up, I'm lonely."


Trini never even had time to unlock the front door when she got to the apartment. Hutch swung it open as soon as he heard her outside. Grabbing Trini around the waist he quickly pulled her inside, kicking the door shut behind them. Burying his face in her neck, Hutch was kissing her so deliciously it was making Trini a little weak in the knees.

The stereo was on, and Hutch was guiding Trini across the floor in his best attempt at dancing. He was no "Great Ramon," but he was absolutely wonderful in Trini's love-filled eyes.

"Hello to you, too," she whispered against his ear, as they continued their dance.

Hutch was definitely in a teasing mood when he whispered back, "My beautiful and liberated girlfriend will be home soon to take me out." Spins her a little, then pulls Trini back to him. "I've got a pretty good thing going with her, so if you're here for sex," dips Trini back and kisses her chest below her collarbone. Slowly, Hutch stood her back up, and looked her in the eye, "We'll have to make love in a rather expedient manner. I don't want to get caught." Hutch then pulled her back to him, and continued swaying gently to the music.

"You're an idiot," she laughed.

"Only sometimes," he replied very earnestly before kissing her deeply.


Laying in bed with Ken Hutchinson wrapping his beautiful body around her was the best thing Trini could imagine, but they had to get up. Tonight, they were going out on a genuine date.

Rubbing her hand against Hutch's sweat glistened chest, she told him, "We've got to get cleaned up. We are going out tonight."

Groaning loudly in protest, Hutch allowed Trini to move out of his embrace to stand up.

"Shower with me?" she asked--holding a hand out to the still horizontal Hutch.

He reached out, and took her hand. "Only if I get to scrub."

Trini laughed and helped him up. "As long as you make sure we get to dinner. Nothing but scrubbing, buster."

Hutch sighed dramatically. "Fine."

"You're a nut, Hutchinson, but I love you."

Pulling her into his arms, he hugged her tightly to him. "Thank God for miracles."


Belatedly, Trini remembered all the boxes she'd left in the Torino.

Steering Hutch away from the parking garage, she told him, "Let's take a cab. We can cuddle while somebody else drives."

Hutch wasn't about to argue with that, so they went out and hailed a cab.

Settling in the backseat, Trini started to give the driver directions to "The Cavern."

"No!" Hutch knew he'd fairly yelled it, but he couldn't deal with Huggy's mocking grins just yet.

"I...uh...I forgot. Hug came by today. He and Candita were going to take you out, but I told him I owed you a meal. They won't be there tonight. They took the night off."

Hutch crossed his fingers behind his back, and hoped he didn't burn in hell for that terrible lie. He'd have to learn to say a "Hail Mary" or something.

Trini smiled. "Oh. That was nice of them. Well, I suppose we could go to...."

Hutch really wasn't listening anymore--just as long as it wasn't "The Cavern."

Trini settled back against Hutch after talking to the cabbie. "Mmmm. This is wonderful."

Hutch tried to frown at Trini. "Oh, yeah? Where's this cuddling I was promised?"

Trini didn't need any more prompting. With that, she gave the cabbie something to watch in his rearview mirror.

The cabbie's voice startled Trini and Hutch from their embrace. "Hey, lovebirds, this is your stop."

They both had the good grace to look embarrassed since neither one had noticed they'd stopped.

Hutch looked at the meter, and started pulling bills out of his wallet. Handing the man his money and a generous tip, Hutch added a hasty, "Sorry."

Smiling hugely, the cabbie held his hands up, "Hey, don't apologize, man. Just make it work. I seen too many sad people in here--nice to see happy ones in love." The man tipped his baseball cap at them and waved as they got out.

Trini waved goodbye to the cabbie, then turned to Hutch. "So, we look happy, huh?" she asked as she moved to hold Hutch's hand in hers. He was distracted, though, and didn't take hold of Trini's offered hand.

Hutch was staring off somewhere over Trini's head--contemplating. "That could be a problem if your uncle notices before we can clear the air with him."

Pulling her hand away from his, Trini started to walk away--fast.

Hutch was surprised a woman almost a foot shorter than him could make him run to catch up.Grabbing her arm to stop her, he spun her to face him. "What the hell? You just walk off? No discussion?"

Trini poked a finger in his face. "You're the one who's acting embarrassed all of a sudden! I don't think it's a bad thing to look in love!"

Hutch shook his head, and held a hand out to her. "You're right, of course. I just feel like I need Starsky's 'permission' or a 'blessing' or something. Trini, I'm not embarrassed. I'm in love, and I want everyone to know it. I just don't want your uncle--my best friend left out. That just wouldn't be right."

Hutch still had his hand out, and he wanted Trini to take it. He offered his hand again, and she took it this time. Smiling, Hutch pulled Trini into his arms and kissed her forehead.

Behind them, a group of partygoers whistled and clapped. "Whooie! Way to go, man!"

"Yeah! Take her home now!"

Trini and Hutch laughed, then Hutch waved at them, which only caused more laughter.

Hutch took hold of Trini's hand. "Come on, let's get out of here." A very happy Trini followed him back to the restaurant.


The atmosphere in the restaurant was quiet and the tables were carefully hidden from each other. Trini had picked a perfect place for the "secret" lovers to dine. Hutch loved the fact that Trini even wanted to be seen in public with a man his age--still marveling at the fact that Trini really loved him.

When the wine came, Hutch held his glass up and toasted Trini. "To the best thing that ever happened to Ken Hutchinson. May we always be in love."

Trini toasted with him. "Well. That was sweet and to the point. I don't think I can top that--in public, anyhow."

Grinning at her over his wineglass, Hutch noticed a man in the bar area watching them. Slowly, the man was now making his way across the room towards Trini and Hutch--a quizzical look on his face. Finally, he came around the corner and stepped down to their table.

"Katrina? My God! It is you!"

Trini looked apologetically at Hutch, then rose to hug the man. "Jason, so good to see you. Are you performing tonight? I thought it was your night off."

Jason had to tear his eyes off Hutch before he could answer Trini. "No, beautiful--it is. I was just getting a paycheck. Who's your friend?"

Hutch rose and extended his hand. "Ken Hutchinson, Jason. Any friend of my girlfriend's is a friend of mine."

Jason's hand flew to his mouth in a way that only truly "flamboyant" men have mastered, and looked at Trini. "Oh my. How sly you are, Katrina." Turning back to Hutch, he apologized, "Sorry--I was in too much shock to shake your hand--how rude of me!"

Holding his hand up, Hutch let the man off the hook. "Care to join us, Jason?"

Jason leaned over to kiss Trini. "I'd love to, but I have a date. He's not near the man that Miss Kat is doing, but I'll live."

Hutch blushed and laughed. "Thanks. I think."

Jason turned back to say one last farewell. "I thought maybe my little Kat was asexual--never a man or woman to be seen, but you! Oh my!" With a huge blown kiss to Trini, and a wink at Hutch, the man was gone.

Hutch shook his head and motioned at the departing man. "Your friend is...interesting."

When Trini didn't reply, Hutch looked back at her. Seeing Trini's eyes brimming with tears, he was a little confused as he reached across the table to her.

"You called me your girlfriend," she half-whispered.

"Trini, you're not gonna go in shock, are you? The last time I checked you were my girl, and I don't think Jason there is gonna talk to Starsky anytime soon."

Trini laughed. "No, I don't believe Jason and David like each other too much." Moving her chair closer to Hutch she smiled and held his hand to her mouth. "It was just a nice surprise--you saying it out loud." Very deliberately, Trini began to caress the tips of Hutch's fingers with her tongue, then took them one by one into her mouth.

Hutch motioned to the waiter coming towards them. "Trini...we, uh...dinner."

Dropping his hand, Trini moved back to her spot on the opposite side of the table, but continued to grin wickedly at Hutch.

While the waiter dished up their food, Hutch surveyed the woman opposite him. She had on a white sweater and a long black, leather skirt--the makeup she wore was spare (but she didn't need any at all in his eyes)--a set of plain gold earrings, and her watch were her only jewelry tonight. This girl was simplicity and elegance all rolled into one.

As the waiter left, Trini giggled. "Think he saw?"

Hutch tried to look angry, but knew he was probably failing miserably. "The way you're acting, the whole place probably saw."

Trini took a drink, and defended herself. "You like it."

"I know," he agreed as he continued to look at her, almost examining her.

"What is it, Hutchinson?" Trini asked him, "Somethin' on your mind?"

He nodded. "Yeah, but I can't do that in public--laws and stuff. I do have a question, though."

"Ask away, my handsome man."

"Thanks." Hutch was still in disbelief she found him so attractive, and he needed to get back to his question before he forgot it. "You don't wear much jewelry, why?"

Finishing her bite, she took a moment to answer him. "O.K., the woman in me says to tell you it's because no man has offered, but that's not entirely true--just not the right man. Part of me is just too frugal. I like jewelry--I just spent too many hungry days with Momma, I suppose."

Nodding thoughtfully, Hutch commented, "Just curious."

Knowing she wasn't about to get anything else out of him, Trini decided to let it be. "Ask me anything, anytime. The lines of communication are here just for you." She was trying to stay light, but Hutch was acting awfully intense--and too curious for Trini at the moment.

Hutch grinned at her. "O.K. wiseass-- Why haven't you been back to work, yet? Or, better yet, why aren't you in Florida? Your arm is fine--I'm fine alone--what gives?"

Trini shrugged and suddenly became very attentive to her meal.

"What gives, Trini? Now we're not discussing again? You've got to let me in, too."

Looking a little guilty, Trini nodded. "Chalk one up for you, Ken. I wasn't playing fair. O.K., here goes. I was a little worried about you being here alone, and I didn't really want to go. To Florida, I mean."

The skeptical look on Hutch's face was irritating, and Trini could've slapped him.

"I hate always being the tag along to David's family! Just once, I'd like to have a significant other that makes me feel special--on my own--with or without being with David's family. We go on vacation and it's the cozy little five of us--David and Leslie do the couple thing--the boys want to be boys--where do I fit in?"

Trini stopped to have a drink of her wine, and take a deep breath before continuing. "Do you know I hate being in Hawaii with nobody like you to watch sunsets with? I hate Mexico with all its lovers strolling on the beaches. Hutch, I know how much being alone hurts, and I couldn't do that to someone I was really starting to get the hots for."

The twitching on Hutch's face told Trini he was close to laughter, but he was trying so hard not to.

"Alright, now you're the wiseass. Laugh if you want to but, it's all true. I hate being alone, and I do have the hots for you."

Finally allowing himself a smile, Hutch tried to absorb all this. He did understand being alone--it sucked. "Maybe," he started off, "the best thing that ever happened to me was a good case of depression. I sure as hell got lucky you were pulled in by my sad little life, and wanted to help. Thanks again."

Lifting her glass, Trini laughed. "You're welcome. Trust me--you're very welcome."

Dinner finished up nicely--light conversation, plenty of laughter, and no more interruptions made it wonderful. The two lovers had decided to share a dessert, and Hutch still had one more "serious" thing to ask.

Reaching for Trini, he apologized. "Please don't hate me, but I've got just one more question--what religion are you? I mean, I don't care--personally I've been married by three different religions--I just..."

She smiled in understanding. "I am a problem, huh? I was raised Catholic by my mother--Jewish by David." Trini shrugged. "I guess I just believe that no single religion is right, and that there is something good on our side. It keeps my hope up to go to church, and temple."

Hutch agreed. "I feel the same. Sometimes organized religion is too confusing for me to understand. Starsky mentioned you two went to temple together, and I saw a cross in the jewelry box. I'm just trying to put all the pieces together." Hutch shrugged. "Still, you didn't answer all my question."

Puzzled, Trini looked at him and waited.

"Do you celebrate Christmas? Tree, presents...."

Softly, she cut him off. "You buyin' me a gift, Hutchinson?"

"I was hoping, but I didn't want to offend...."

"Trust me, Officer, you won't be offending me. I like that you thought of me."

Their dessert arrived, and Hutch took a bite before commenting. "I think of you all the time, lady. Trust me."


Stepping out of the restaurant, Trini smiled up at Hutch. "You bored, or do you feel up to another stop?"

"Do I need to get us a cab?"

"Nah, let's walk. It'll be romantic, Hutchinson."

Hutch threw his head back and laughed--this girl was too much. Pulling her to him, he held her under the protection and warmth of his arm for the duration of the walk. They'd walked about ten blocks when Trini stopped in front of a bar. "This is it. You still wanna go in?"

Stepping back to examine the exterior he shrugged. "Why not?"

Trini pointed upward and Hutch noticed the bar's name: "Angie's Place." Cocking his head, he asked, "My ex?"

Trini nodded. "It's a nice bar. I come here and sing sometimes. Besides, she and David still get together for pool once in awhile. Can we still go in?"

Hutch nodded, then smiled at Trini. "I'll be damned. My ex and my girlfriend." He held the door open for Trini. "This should be an interesting night."

Angie was running the bar when Trini and Hutch walked in. Seeing her ex-husband with Starsky's niece was such a shock, she almost broke a glass before she recovered herself. Trini waved to her, but Hutch seemed unsure how to greet his ex, so he just nodded in her direction.

Drying her hands off, Angie called her waitress over and whispered in her ear. The girl went to a room that must be the office, and knocked. A woman of considerable girth and size came out and went to Angie. Speaking to the man-like female, Angie motioned to Trini and Hutch's table. The muscle-bound woman glared at Hutch and nodded once. Angie kissed her cheek then started for Trini and Hutch's table to say hello.

Trini rose and hugged Angie first. "Hello, Angie. I brought along an old friend."

Standing back to look Hutch over, Angie laughed. "Not that old, Kat! And, he don't look none the worse. You know--wear and tear and all that." Sitting down, she leaned in to hug Hutch. "How you been, Hutch?"

Awkwardly, Hutch returned the hug. "I'm good, Ang. You?"

Instead of answering, Angie leaned back and intently studied Hutch's face.

Nervously laughing, Hutch looked away. "Forget what I looked like, Ang?"

Slowly she shook her head. "Oh no, Ken. I remember what you look like, and how I screwed up our little marriage. I was just lookin' in those baby blues to see if you really were O.K."

Hutch looked back at his ex-wife. "And your opinion is?"

Looking to Trini, Angie gave her answer. "I'd say you've come through fine."

Trini looked away, and feigned great interest in the dancers.

Clearing his throat, Hutch continued his conversation with Angie. "Well, Ang, it looks like you've done O.K. here. This is a nice little place."

Looking around and nodding, Angie smiled. "Michelle and I work hard to keep it up. That's Michelle behind the bar there."

Hutch looked to the bar. "The one who wants to kick my ass?"

Angie and Trini both laughed at that. "Probably. She gets awfully possessive, but she shouldn't be." Angie noticed Hutch shifted a little nervously in his seat at her mention of Michelle. "Sorry, Hutch. I guess we'll never be all that comfortable with each other again, huh?"

Trini looked back and forth between the two people--maybe this hadn't been such a good idea.

Hutch sighed, and smiled a little sadly. "Angie, I don't think we were ever 'comfortable'--just lonely."

Trini breathed a little easier--this was gonna be fine!

Kissing him quickly, Angie rose to leave. "I think you're right. We can make better friends?"

Hutch genuinely smiled at his ex-wife. "We can try."

"Good enough! I'll be back later, Trini. You singing?"

Trini looked to Hutch. "I thought we might. If I can get him up there."

Looking from her ex-husband to her friend, Angie smiled. "He should. He has a wonderful voice."

Hutch looked to the band to avoid any further embarrassing comments.

As Angie walked away, Trini snorted, "At least she's heard you sing. I haven't been so lucky."

Leaning over to whisper in Trini's ear, Hutch nibbled on it then laughed. "I was keeping that for our private time. I really can't sing a note."

Trini snorted again, and looked away. "That's not what I hear."

After several promises, a few beers, and a couple threats--Hutch finally agreed to sing with Trini.

Angie ran to the back office, quickly producing a guitar for Hutch. "Be good to it, Hutch--it belongs to Michelle."

Hutch held his hands up in mock fear. "Heavens! Do I dare?"

The glare Michelle sent him across the bar only made Hutch more determined to piss her off. Accepting the guitar from Angie, he tuned it to his liking and strummed a little on it. "Let's see how a real man makes this sound."

Trini glared at him, then laughed when she realized nobody else had heard. "So, what do we sing, Hutchinson?"

Hutch looked thoughtful a moment before answering. "How well do you know that 'Eagles' CD of yours?"

"Better than you," she challenged.

Grinning wickedly he started playing, and moved to the microphone. "Really? Just try and keep up, honey."

The crowd suddenly woke up when Hutch's deep voice, so strong and soulful, started spilling out the words to "Best Of My Love."

Trini was amazed by him, and had a hard time not kissing him right there! God, the man could play the guitar with ease, and the way he sang! Trini could hardly wait to get him home to show her appreciation of his vast talent!

They had done four songs before Trini decided to take a beer break. Hutch on the other hand, continued to sing to the small, but appreciative crowd--abandoning the guitar and moving to the piano. Trini didn't even know he could play the piano, and watched him with awe-filled eyes. Sitting on the barstool next to Angie, Trini took a sip of her beer--never taking her eyes off Hutch.

Angie leaned over to Trini. "How long you been sleepin' with Hutch?"

Nearly choking to death on her beer, Trini had to cough and catch her breath before answering. "Jesus! Is it that obvious?"

Patting Trini's leg, Angie told her, "Girl, you got 'in love' stamped all over your face. He looks at you the same way." Directing her attention away from her embarrassed friend, Angie nodded towards Hutch. "It seems you guys fixed what was broke with him--he looks fine to me."

Trini nodded. "He's 'recovered'." She took another sip of beer then looked at Angie. "I know it's none of my business, and you can tell me to shut up..."

"You wanna know how I let a man like Hutch go?"

Trini could only nod.

"Hutch and I...we shoulda' just been friends--I married a man to try and kill these feelings I had inside, and Hutch was just lonely." Angie motioned for two more beers, and a scowling Michelle brought them over. Trying to make peace, Angie lightly kissed Michelle's cheek and pointed at Trini. "She's dating Hutch--isn't that wonderful?"

Michelle's scowl quickly turned into a smile. "That's great, Kat! He seems nice--for a man." Another beer was ordered somewhere down the bar, and Michelle moved off to help.

Smiling at Trini, Angie apologized. "Sorry I told her, but I didn't feel like the cold shoulder all night."

"It's fine--really. He just doesn't want David to hear second hand."

Angie laughed out loud, causing Trini to give her a puzzled look. "Girl, you better learn to control that hungry way you look at him then!"

Trini punched the laughing ex-wife of her gorgeous boyfriend on the leg.

Angie nodded back in Hutch's direction. "I do understand that look, though. If I was going to enjoy sex with a man, he's as good as I ever got." Looking around hastily, she laughed. "Don't let Michelle or that vain ex of mine know! Promise?"

Trini held up three fingers. "Scouts honor."

Angie motioned to the stage Hutch had finally abandoned, as both women clapped for him. "He did good, huh?"

Trini nodded as she looked around the bar. The small crowd was certainly making a big noise for Hutch, and he ate it up!

Stepping off the stage, he handed Angie back the borrowed guitar, then sat beside Trini. Natural as could be, Hutch wrapped his arm around Trini and kissed her cheek. Hutch was grinning from ear to ear, and his forehead was sweaty from the hot lights. The only other time Trini had seen him this contented was...well, earlier.

Angie ordered him a beer, then got up to leave. "You can come sing anytime, Hutch. You sure made my little crowd smile."

Hutch loved the praise, but was a little embarrassed, too. "Shit, Ang--they're drunk. I wasn't that great."

Trini pushed his arm off her, and elbowed him lightly. "Quit! You were wonderful!"

Michelle handed him a beer, and winked at him. "On the house, Hutch. You done good up there."

It took Hutch a minute before he could talk. "Hey, Ang. I don't think she hates me anymore."

The friendly backslap the laughing Michelle gave Hutch nearly knocked him off his seat.

It was closing time, and Trini had to practically drag Hutch home. He'd enjoyed their night out--every part of it: dinner, singing, even pool with Angie and Michelle had been fun. Pulling her happy man out of the bar, Trini hailed a cab.

Hutch helped Trini in before flopping tiredly in himself. Laying her head on Hutch, Trini whispered, "You were wonderful."

Hugging her to him, he wished they were already home and alone. "So were you. Thanks for a great night, Trini."

Trini turned and stroked Hutch's face. "You're welcome." Kissing him lightly, she asked, "Was tonight the night I promised to let you sleep?"

Hutch slid one hand inside Trini's coat, and rubbed against her nipple, causing Trini to shudder in a way that was fast becoming a habit. Leaning down to kiss her neck, he whispered, "No."

Trini knew he was talking about the sleep he'd been promised, and she smiled. She also knew his attention to her body better slow down, or this cabbie was gonna see more than the last one had!


Back home, Trini had showed Hutch exactly what she thought of his singing ability, and the man was worn out. Suddenly, Trini jumped out of bed telling him, "I'll be right back." She opened her bedroom door, and left a puzzled Hutch staring after her, then quickly reappeared holding Hutch's guitar case. "Show me how to play," she pleaded.

Sitting up, Hutch patted the bed in front of him. How could he resist a naked woman with a guitar?

Trini opened the case and gently handed the guitar to Hutch as he sat up against the headboard. Trini sat down on the bed and leaned back against his strong chest, while Hutch helped her hold the guitar. He'd only taught her a few notes before Trini's interest was directed somewhere else.

Hutch made a wonderful backrest, but his naked body pressing up against Trini...that made concentration on her 'lesson' impossible. Trini could feel the hardness of the man she loved, and she knew it was time to make a different kind of music.

Chapter 10