This story first appeared in the zine, That's What Friends Are For #8 (1998). This zine and other fine S&H gen zines can be obtained from the editor at: Intertwined@webtv.net. Comments on this story can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org and will be forwarded to the author.
K Hanna Korossy
Telephones had a way of ringing at the worst time. Like when a person was trying valiantly to put together a coherent report on an old, failing typewriter, with one arm in a sling. It almost made Hutch wish he'd taken Dobey up on his offer for a few more days off. Except that a certain partner of his never did any paperwork on his own without a certain blond to egg him on, and so Hutch had, with great martyrdom, come in to work on the endless paperwork with half of his typing fingers out of commission. And Starsky was showing his typical appreciation at his friend's self-sacrifice by making himself scarce.
The telephone was still ringing and Hutch sighed with resignation. He leaned across the desk with his right hand to snag the phone, trying not to wince as he did. Dobey had promised to send him home at the first sign of pain, and Hutch had every reason to believe he would, leaving Starsky to wreak havoc at will. Hutch sighed again. Sometimes the world wasn't fair.
"Hutchinson," he said as pleasantly as he could muster into the phone.
"I'm looking for David Starsky." The voice was female and sounded promising, but Hutch wasn't biting. He wasn't about to turn into Starsky's private message service, either.
"Detective Starsky isn't here at the moment; I'm Detective Hutchinson, his partner. Could I help you?"
There was a brief hesitation on the line. "I'm calling from Memorial Hospital and I need to get a message to Detective Starsky as soon as possible."
Hutch's attention immediately focused. Memorial Hospital? He himself had had his fill of that place recently. The coincidence was disturbing... "May I ask what this is about?"
Again a pause. Whatever it was, was serious. Hutch's stomach began to churn. "I have Detective Starsky listed as the 'to be notified' for our patient Mrs. Evelyn Greene. We'd like to ask Mr. Starsky to come down to the hospital as soon as he is able, if possible."
Hutch's mind was working furiously. Mrs. Greene-the name was completely unfamiliar. And yet, she was apparently important to Starsky. Or he to her. Not "next-of-kin," which eliminated the possibility of her being a branch of Starsky's large family that Hutch had never been able to keep straight. So who could she be? Or, more importantly, who was she to Starsky?
The questions came and went in a second and he instinctively sorted them out at once and decided there was nothing more to be learned this way. "Thank you, I'll let him know as soon as I can reach him," Hutch promised honestly.
The warmth of a smile entered the woman's voice. "I appreciate that," she said simply before hanging up. Hutch belatedly wished he'd been nicer.
Thoughts immediately went back to the problem at hand. He'd just picked up the phone to try to find Starsky when the door opened and his partner breezed in.
"Hey, Hutch, how's it going?" the smile was warm and infectious. Starsky had been on a high ever since Hutch had left the hospital, and positively indomitable since the blond had returned to work. Hutch's heart sank a little at the thought of being the bearer of bad news.
"Starsk...you just got a message," he began, hesitating, wishing again he knew what the situation was, what was at stake for Starsky. He wasn't used to not being able to anticipate his partner.
Starsky hadn't yet noticed the deliberateness, pausing by his desk a moment to idly glance through some papers. "Yeah? Was it Meredith?" He lost all pretense of interest in the paperwork and rounded the corner to hitch himself up on the edge of Hutch's desk. "She and I are...," he trailed off, recognizing for the first time the tension in how the other held himself. "Hey, you okay?" The voice lowered several notches both out of concern and discretion. It was nobody else's business if Hutch was not up to speed. "S'it the shoulder? Maybe you oughta-"
"No, Starsk, I'm fine," Hutch shook his head impatiently. The last thing he wanted was for Starsky to worry about him, too. "Memorial Hospital called looking for you. They said it was about a Mrs. Evelyn Greene and asked if you could come down right away."
He'd been watching the other's face expectantly for some sign of what Starsky was feeling, but it didn't take knowing his partner well to see. The smile disappeared at the first two words, face falling a moment later at the woman's name. Hutch was frowning deeply by the time he finished, and Starsky just stared at him blankly.
The brunet abruptly stood, oblivious or ignorant of the hand that had gently settled on his own. "I gotta go," he muttered to the thin air, then nearly bolted out the door, several other detectives looking up in surprise in his wake.
Hutch was beginning to get seriously worried. He searched his memory again for any mention of the woman and was puzzled to not find someone who was so obviously close to his partner, but he didn't hesitate. For nearly two weeks, ever since Hutch's collapse after his timely rescue of Starsky and Meredith, Starsky had been hovering, hand-holding, and there every step of the way as Hutch had slowly recovered. Now it was his turn.
He got into the hall in time to see Starsky disappear through the doors at the end and ran to follow as quickly as he was able. Hutch mentally cursed at not having the strength to go faster, but he didn't dare push himself too far. He'd do Starsky no good if he collapsed now.
They were almost to the Torino before he finally caught up to his partner.
The hesitation his call caused was enough for him to catch up and grab his partner's arm. He used the leverage to wheel around in front of the other.
"Starsk, what's going on? Who's Evelyn Greene?"
The conflict in the other's face and eyes was obvious, but it just confused Hutch further. Since when did they hide things from each other?
"It's okay, Hutch, just something I gotta do. Don't worry about it." The voice was soft and said in just the right tone. I know you're worried but I'm okay.
It still somehow felt wrong. "I'm going with you," Hutch decided.
Starsky made a face, carefully trying to pull out of Hutch's hold. "Look, this doesn't concern you. Just gotta go see a friend, okay?" This time there was a touch of anger in the tone, and an unspoken warning.
The dark eyes said something different, though, and they could never lie to him. Hutch stared into them, trying to understand, and realized with a shock what he was picking up. It wasn't anger or sorrow. It was fear. Hutch deliberately relaxed his stance, letting go of Starsky, putting all the force of his concern into his next words.
"I want to go with you." To the hospital, to face whatever you're facing, to go wherever it is you just went off to, partner. I want to know.
Starsky shrunk a little, either seceding or unable to fight. For now, that would do; Hutch would take what he could get. It didn't make him feel any better when he retrieved the car keys from lax fingers and Starsky silently went around to the passenger side. Hutch no longer had any doubts about the importance of Mrs. Greene, but he was still left with the important unanswered question, Why?
Driving was a little awkward one-handed. Hutch hadn't done it since the shooting, but Starsky didn't seem to notice and Hutch still felt the better qualified of the two of them to be behind the wheel. Starsky sat quietly straight, composed, seemingly on top of things. But the bright blue of his partner's eyes had darkened to deep marine, his back was rigid, his hand white from being clenched so tightly. That was a language Hutch understood.
Finally, Hutch ventured to break the silence. They were already halfway to the hospital and he had to know what they were getting into.
"Starsky, who's Evelyn Greene?"
Starsky stiffened further, something Hutch didn't think was possible. Tension was etched into every muscle of the lean body. There was a long pause, then he sighed wearily, sinking back into the seat. "She's a friend of mine."
That was no news. Hutch patiently probed further. "I don't think I've ever heard you talk about her."
A slight shake of the dark head. "I only met her three weeks ago. At the hospital." Hutch's expression altered a little, but Starsky wasn't looking at him. "She knew you were gonna be okay, she kept tellin' me that. I think I'd'a gone crazy without her, y'know?"
Silence filled the car. Hutch, busy with his own thoughts, continued to glance over, trying to see the shadowed face. But he knew it was time to wait and listen, and stayed silent.
After a moment, very softly, the confession continued. "An' I believed her. Felt like as long as she was around, you'd be all right." He gave a brief, embarrassed half-laugh, still not looking up.
Several things began to make sense to Hutch all at once. Like a few unexplained absences of his otherwise constantly present partner. And Starsky's unusual lack of worry about Hutch during the convalescence. He'd fussed and mother-henned his partner to no end, particularly after Hutch's collapse and the resolution of the case, but Hutch's injury had not appeared to upset him as much as other times the blond had been incapacitated. Hutch was beginning to realize how much he owed this mystery woman, not only for taking his partner under wing when Starsky had been most lost, but also for continuing to support and encourage in Hutch's place while he'd been unable to and Starsky was too drained to do for himself. Anyone who cared for Starsky automatically endeared themself to the blond, particularly for stepping in when Starsky needed and Hutch was unable to give.
The revelation had cost some peace of mind for Starsky, though, and Hutch was disturbed by that. Had he given his partner cause to think him so insecure that he would begrudge another's closeness to Starsky? A glance at the other dismissed that thought. Starsky did not seem anxious about Hutch's acceptance. Perhaps then it was something a lot more subconscious, like...
"I'm okay now, Starsk," he said softly, "you don't have t'worry about me anymore."
Startled, the dark eyes snapped up to meet his, then the pale cheeks flushed. Hutch smiled back warmly. After a moment, it prompted a very slight smile in return. Hutch was powerless to do any more than ease the shock and sadness that still shone in the blue depths, but there was that one fear that he could help. If Evelyn Greene would no longer be around for Starsky, Hutch would just have to make sure that he filled in for that loss, too.
Starsky lapsed back into private reflection and inwardly the blond sighed. He himself had never taken loss very well, but Starsky had a lot of baggage in that department, and every new blow seemed to take that much more out of him. And to make him cling all the harder to those he had left.
The rest of the trip passed in silence, Hutch contemplative, Starsky troubled. The blond was relieved when the hospital came into sight.
He reluctantly dropped Starsky off at the front door at his partner's request, wishing he knew what to expect, how Starsky could react, what he could do to help. Hutch hurried to find a parking place, then, having already pushed his own battered body as far as he dared, slowly made his way inside.
There was no sign of Starsky at the nurse's station but he'd expected as much. He stopped and painfully rested his arm against the desk and addressed himself to the nurse, who looked up at him with a smile. "I'm looking for Evelyn Greene's room."
Her face became serious. "Are you family?"
He played with that question for a moment. Did being closer than family to someone who was like family count? He almost smiled. "I'm with David Starsky; he was called in to see her."
She nodded, immediately consulting a clipboard. "Down the hall, second-to-last door on the right. Room 224."
"Thank you," Hutch was already setting off down the hallway.
The room was bright and cheerful. It didn't seem right to Starsky, until he realized that that was the way Evelyn would've wanted it. Except she was in no state to notice anymore.
He sat in the silent room, holding the fragile hand in his own, watching her peaceful face as she slept. The doctor had said that she would go sometime in the next few hours, her depleted body already at the end of its endurance. He only hoped that he'd been in time to talk to her one more time, to say...he didn't know what. Thank you hardly seemed to do her justice.
The room door opened behind him but he didn't react, barely conscious of the noise. A hand gently gripped his shoulder, surprising him. He looked up.
"How is she?" Hutch asked sincerely.
The empathy warmed him despite the pain he felt. "It's not much longer," he answered quietly.
The hand tightened on his shoulder. "You want me to go?"
"No." Starsky answered before he even thought. Hutch just nodded and straightened up gingerly, hand still on his partner's shoulder. Starsky's eyes remained on him a moment longer, seeing now the slow, deliberate movement of the other. It dawned on him that Hutch had had to do the driving, the chasing after him, and now the mental supporting, too, all in a still-weakened condition. "Why don'tcha sit?" he suggested.
A grateful, soft smile touched the other's face. There was another chair over by the window, and Hutch slowly made his way to it and sat. Starsky's gaze remained on him for a moment after he sank into the chair, then returned to the woman in the bed.
Hutch also looked at her, studying her face. The whole woman was so frail looking, she hardly seemed there at all, and the white hair coiled around her head dwarfed the small, round face. But even with so little left of her, there was still a kindness, a peace evident in her expression, the lines of her face. It was a face that had not been always treated kindly by life but that nevertheless hadn't become bitter or harsh. Hutch could only imagine how that affability had consoled Starsky.
Hutch never ceased to be impressed by his partner's ability with people and his innate knowledge of psychology, but the kindness Starsky showed toward those weaker and older than he made Hutch secretly proud. Hutch himself was patient, and having helped take care of his own grandfather until that good man's death, he understood seniors better than many. But Starsky had always had a soft spot for them. The elderly couple with the car full of dynamite, the eccentric Maggie who still came in on occasion to confess to Starsky some outrageous crime, even Mrs. Craig and Mrs. Jackson, the grieving mothers Starsky continued to visit on occasion. Starsky had genuinely cared for them all, patiently taking the time to listen and help. The blond had always absently wondered if it was some unconscious way of seeking replacements for the father he'd lost too young and the mother who had sent him away soon after, or if it was just Starsky's naturally caring nature.
Hutch's eyes went back to his partner and his thoughts turned unconsciously to the last time the two of them had sat in the hospital, while they awaited word about Emily Harrison. Starsky had been so utterly torn up with grief then, Hutch hadn't known what to do, had been scared of what would happen to his partner if the girl died. Everyone who thought Hutch was prone to guilt trips had never seen Starsky's conscience at work. And he could only imagine what his partner was like after Hutch had been shot, scared and lost, drowning in loneliness. A good-hearted comforter, someone to encourage him and be with him, was exactly what Hutch would have wished for his friend, and what Mrs. Greene had apparently provided. Hutch was only sorry he'd not had a chance to get to know the woman, though he could understand Starsky's reasons for keeping her a secret even if Starsky couldn't. Telling Hutch would have broken the spell.
"I wonder sometimes..."
For a moment, he wasn't even sure he'd heard the soft voice. Starsky hadn't moved, was still turned away from Hutch, facing Mrs. Greene. But for Hutch's ears or not, the words had been spoken. "What?" Hutch gently prodded.
Starsky cleared his throat. "If Pop hadn't died like he had. If he'd gotten cancer or somethin', so I'd've had time to say good-bye. I sometimes wonder if it would've been easier."
Hutch considered that a moment. "I
don't know. Sometimes it's harder when you have to stand by and watch someone
you love slowly slip away."
The dark head turned toward him and eyes wise with experience regarded him solemnly. "Yeah." They studied his face a moment longer, as though seeking something, then turned back toward the bed.
Silence fed thought for a minute. Hutch finally ventured to speak again. "You know about my grandfather."
The curls nodded a little.
"It was 14 months after he became bedridden that he died. I...," Hutch trailed off, took a breath. He remembered the passing with sweet sadness. The loss had brought sorrow, but also peace at the release of pain, at the love, the memories he'd shared with the older man. "It was...hard to watch," he admitted. "But I also appreciated having the chance to take care of him a little, to give back something after all his years of taking care of me."
Starsky turned toward him again and this time the dark blue was warm with sympathy. Hutch could feel the gentle touch halfway across the room. He smiled back. Starsky had understood, acknowledged the comfort and returned it all with one look.
The woman on the bed stirred weakly, and Starsky's attention turned back to her at once. He leaned forward anxiously. "Evelyn?"
There was obviously little strength left in the fragile form, but her eyes slowly opened, then focused on him. The familiar joyful smile reappeared, not as wide as it'd once been, but just as happy.
"David," she whispered, her voice paper thin.
He squeezed her hand but she didn't seem to feel it. Déja vu of another dear lady dying in a hospital bed swam into his memories and blurred his vision for a moment. He grinned at her despite it. "You look just as beautiful as ever."
She blinked slowly, every word apparently great effort. "Can't go...dancing tonight," she managed.
Hutch could see his partner swallow hard. Unable to stay at a distance, he edged out of the chair and quietly up behind Starsky, laying a hand again on his shoulder.
Starsky nodded back towards him without turning. "Evelyn, this is my partner, Hutch. He's almost well now, you were right."
The faded eyes immediately moved up to Hutch's face and she studied the blond carefully. "Another handsome one," she murmured slowly, drawing out each syllable. She addressed herself to Hutch. "He's a good boy. Worried about you. He loves you...so much...."
Hutch smiled quietly. "I know. I love him, too. Thank you." He hadn't planned to say that much and he felt Starsky turn up to look at him in surprise, but he kept his eyes on her.
She nodded a little, understanding what he meant. "You have kind eyes... you're good for David... fortunate, you both..." Her eyes fluttered shut.
Hutch's hand tightened as Starsky leaned forward anxiously. "Evelyn?"
She smiled. "David," her voice was a whisper now. She opened her eyes tiredly. "Don't worry...I know where I'm going...see Him now...and my Saul..." she smiled gently at him. "You have your friend...you'll be all right." The words were getting farther apart and thready. Hutch noticed the heart monitor was not as regular as before, but doubted that his partner was aware of anything but the dying woman whose hand he held. "David...." Her eyes were closing. "God bless...."
For another few minutes of painful silence the heart monitor continued to erratically slow. Starsky bowed his head over the thin hand in his own. Then the flat buzz of the monitor was the only sound in the room.
After all the years of facing violent death out on the street, looking it in the eye as his enemy, even fighting it to save his partner's life, Hutch had nearly forgotten this kind of death, the quiet kind that left grief without tearing up the soul. He could feel the difference in Starsky, too. Hutch had been with his partner after Terry had died and had felt the cloak of despair that smothered his friend, saw the two lives drain away in the one death, and it had taken all the power of his love and care to turn back that flow. Now, he only felt sadness in the other's bent shoulders and silence. It filled him with a longing to share; it was time to do what Mrs. Greene had entrusted him to do.
"Starsk?" he whispered, his hand resettling on the nape of the neck beneath the curls.
It took a minute, but the dark head turned toward him almost blindly, tears glistening in his eyes.
"Have to say good-bye."
There was a hesitant nod, then Starsky turned back to the bed and, kissing the still hand, laid it on the edge of the bed. He reached out to caress a pale cheek one last time and finally stood up, moving toward the door.
"Wait." Hutch stopped him, then pulled him into an embrace, not caring if he jarred his arm. Starsky leaned into him a minute with a soft sigh and Hutch's free hand finally settled onto the curls, stroking once, then holding. Starsky had been taking such good care of him the previous two weeks; Hutch'd had no idea that his partner had been dealing with a dying friend at the same time. He held the other closer. Fortunate, indeed. She knew you pretty well, Starsk.
Hutch didn't let go until he was sure composure was restored. Finally feeling that Starsky was ready to face the world again, the blond let him go and stepped back. And stopped.
The look on his Starsky's face was one Hutch had received only a few times before in his life from anyone. It showed all, every last dark corner of secrets, every bit of love and gratitude. Fortunate, you both.... Hutch stared back, overwhelmed. He never felt as cherished as when the person he cared most about it in the world made it so very clear that the feeling was completely mutual. It seemed to heal every ache in his soul.
Starsky finally touched his slinged arm gently, not needing words, and the vulnerable moment disappeared, unforgotten. After one final, lingering look at the bed, Starsky swallowed hard, and then they left the room together.
Starsky stopped at the nurses' station for a few minutes to sign some things and tie up loose ends and Hutch moved off a little, close enough so the other could still feel his presence. He felt completely exhausted but waited patiently, watching his partner's body language, contented to see the relaxed stance. The brunet's movements were a little slowed with sadness, but that would pass without doing damage, Hutch was confident.
Since Starsky wasn't kin, there wasn't much he could or had to do and they were soon free to go. They made their way slowly down to the first floor and out the entrance, where Starsky looked up at him, silently inquiring about what next.
Hutch's weary body chose that moment to complain and he unexpectedly swayed. Concern flooded the dark eyes and an arm immediately slid around him to steady him. Although he'd already regained his balance, it firmly directed him onto the bench by the door. There, Starsky frankly studied him. "Where's the car?" Hutch told him. "I'll be right back." Starsky's voice was still hushed with the upheavals of the last few hours, but again there was a brief touch. I'm okay.
Hutch sat on the bench, grateful for the chance to rest as much as he was annoyed with his own weakness that had necessitated it. But he made no complaint when the red-and-white car pulled sharply up to the curb in front of him, or when its driver immediately bounded out to help him get in.
They were both too drained for much discussion, but Hutch had no problem with their direction turning toward Venice. After several minutes, he finally asked, "Are you making the arrangements?"
Starsky shrugged. "No, she had a cousin who's gonna do it." Hutch nodded, not asking why the cousin was not listed as next of kin with the hospital. Probably for the same reason that Starsky was the one listed to be notified in his own I.D. "They said they'd let us know," Starsky quietly added. Hutch caught the "us," knowing full well that he'd also be at that funeral. Evelyn had become his friend, too, and Starsky could use the support. His partner seemed disinclined to say more, and Hutch let himself drift, coming awake with a start when the car stopped moving.
The concern was back in the sapphire eyes that were studying him, and he stared back, seeing the glimmer of grief in the deep blue. Mrs. Greene, good friend, mother figure, and security blanket was gone. Hutch wasn't even sure that had sunk in yet, for Starsky was not one to give his heart halfway and Hutch suspected that the friendship had progressed farther in a few weeks than even he would have thought, particularly under the circumstances. His mind returned to his earlier thoughts on Starsky's history of abandonment, of having loved ones reject or leave him. And Evelyn Greene was, in some ways, very reminiscent of Rachel Starsky, both in appearance and nature. Even if Starsky wasn't aware of it himself, he would need a little bit more for a while. And also a chance to give more.
Hutch smiled at him and one corner of the other's mouth rose in response, then Starsky went around to help him out and upstairs. The blond would've probably been capable of doing it himself, at least the bare minimums, but he let the other do everything, appreciating the attention and seeing Starsky find comfort in mothering. For the next hour, Starsky fussed over him, fixing some light food, preparing a bath, giving him a gentle back rub.
And then he cried himself to sleep in Hutch's arms.
Starsky was sorting their office mail as Hutch entered the squadroom and came around to peer over his shoulder.
"Nah, just another note from the D.A. about needing more stuff on that arson case." He scowled. "If I have to write one more report on that..."
Hutch grinned. "Comes with the job, Starsk. Maybe we should've asked Schmidt to go set some fires someplace else after he got out of lock-up," he offered helpfully.
Starsky gave him a withering glance.
It did nothing to diminish Hutch's grin. The blond was still smiling as he went back to looking at the mail. "What about this package from, uh, 'Halverson and Deutsch, Attorneys-At-Law'. It's addressed to you."
Starsky grimaced. "More lawyers. No thanks."
"C'mon, Starsk," Hutch wheedled, "aren't you even curious? Maybe it's something else from your uncle's estate."
Starsky sighed. "Okay," he grumbled, "but if it's bad news, you get to deal with it." He tore the wrapper off, discarding it on his desk. Hutch automatically picked it up and threw it away as he watched Starsky open the envelope that was enclosed with a small box. "'Dear Mr. Starsky, According to...'" Starsky's voice trailed off as he silently read the letter, his face going blank.
"What?" Hutch asked in all seriousness.
"Evelyn," Starsky said, then cleared his throat as the name came out harder than he thought. "She left me something in her will."
Hutch's face reflected his surprise. Evelyn Greene had died several months before and there hadn't been a word since from the kin or about any will reading. "When did she-" he began, then caught himself on the tactlessness of the question.
Starsky didn't seem to mind. "They said she didn't officially rewrite her will but she had the lawyer put somethin' in a week before she died." He was staring off past his partner, watching memories pass by.
"You going to open it?" Hutch asked softly.
Starsky returned to the present, blinking at him for a moment, then coloring as he smiled faintly and pried the box open. He reached inside and gently pulled out a ring. It was a man's ring, gold, set with a black stone. Placing it into Hutch's hand, he reached in again and pulled out a small, worn Bible. That he reverently placed down on the desk before him as he sat down in his chair.
Hutch studied the ring, looked over at the Bible, then finally watched his partner's face as Starsky carefully opened the book and paged through it. Once the initial shock of Evelyn's death had passed and Hutch had mended, his partner had bounced back with his usual speed, even the recent less-than-ideal visit of his brother not able to pull him down for long. But Hutch had noticed the small framed picture of a smiling white-haired woman had found a place on Starsky's bookshelf near the pictures of his family, and knew that Evelyn wasn't forgotten. Now he wondered about the effect on his partner of the sensitive reminders of Evelyn Greene's death.
"Here," he offered the ring back to Starsky, who took it without looking up, turning it over and studying it.
"The letter says it was her husband's, Saul's." Starsky's quiet voice offered few clues. Hutch stayed silent, still watching. Starsky looked up at him finally, his eyes clear. "I think she'd want you to have this," he said solemnly, reaching the ring out again.
Hutch frowned. "Starsk, I don't think-" he demured.
Starsky nodded. "Take it, Hutch. I know she'd agree. And I wantcha to have it."
That was an argument he couldn't counter. Slowly, Hutch reached out and took the ring, turning it over in his hand again. "It's beautiful," he murmured. "Thank you. I'll keep it safe," he vowed, looking up.
He hadn't expected the smile he got, calm and sincere. "I know," Starsky said softly. There was a long look. Then the Bible was slipped unobtrusively into a drawer, to be studied later in private. Hutch smiled to himself. It had taken time-years, in fact-but Starsky was getting better. The scars of his past would remain, and the vulnerability they sometimes provoked was one of the things that endeared Starsky to his partner, but he didn't hurt so much now and for that, Hutch would always be grateful to Evelyn Greene.
The ring glimmered on the desk between them in reminder as they went back to work.
Written in 1997