SOP Disclaimer: I do not own Starsky and Hutch, they own me. I do not profit from this and do not infringe on anyone's rights. This is for entertainment purposes ONLY.

This is mostly fluff. Actually it is very long on fluff. I thought Starsky needed a break. Everyone needs a good day every once in a while.

Warnings: Hutch is almost non-existent in this.

Reviews and feedback are greatly appreciated!


by: dnjlwilson

Day two of the unexpected time off given Hutch because of his sprained ankle brought another boring day of typing reports for Starsky. Although he was glad he didn't have to hit the streets without Hutch, and he hadn't been assigned a temporary partner, Starsky wasn't looking forward to the long day riding a desk.

The boredom was broken by the bellow of Captain Dobey. "Starsky! In my office NOW!"

Wondering what trouble he could have gotten in to so early in the morning, Starsky cautiously entered the office. Inside were two men, one beautiful lady, and a highly frustrated Captain.

"You rang, Cap?" Starsky cheerfully said, guaging the mood in the room.

"These people are Federal agents. They say our case against Stryker won't stick!" Dobey nearly yelled.

"What?" Starsky said incredulously. "We did everything by the book right down to typing the reports in triplicate! He got his Miranda, we got clear, unrefutable evidence, no slip-ups!"

"We believe you, Detective," the taller of the two men said.

"And you are...?" Starsky inquired.

"We did skip introductions, didn't we," the lady said. "This is Matt Culver, Gary Turner, and I'm Alexandra Gray. Let's start over on the right foot this time, gentlemen."

"Okay. So what's the problem?" Starsky asked, getting right to the business at hand. He noticed the lady seemed to be in charge.

"Captain Dobey, I didn't say the case wouldn't stick. I said we didn't know enough about it to go to court. We want to get this guy with Federal charges, not just state or county."

"Sorry," Dobey apologized. "I'm just really close to this case. I want it to stick more than you do. This guy had my partner killed several years ago, and he also tried to kill Detective Starsky here and his partner."

"So, we all have the same goal in mind. Let's work together, shall we?" Alexandra offered.

"I'm in." Starsky conceded.

"Let's do this then." Dobey said. "What do you want from us?"

"We need to go over the case, page by page, with the people who are closest to it." stated Culver. "I understand you and your partner are the arresting officers." he said to Starsky.

"Yeah, but Hutch, uh my partner, is out on injury leave." Starsky said.

"I guess it's just you and me then." Alexandra said plainly, addressing Starsky.

"It could be worse!" Starsky said lightly.

"Let's get started then." Alexandra agreed. "Do you have a place to lay everything out?"

"We've got an interrogation room open." Dobey offered.

"Interrogation is probably a good word for this." Starsky said with a slight edge in his voice.

"Don't forget," Alexandra said, "we're on the same side."

"I won't forget." Starsky replied.

"I won't need you guys today." Alexandra said to her collegues.

"I was hoping you would say that." Turner said as they left quickly.

"Lead the way, Mr. Starsky." Alexandra said.

"I can't work under these conditions!" Starsky said seriously.

"What conditions?" Alexandra said, confused.

Starsky, knowing she had fallen for his icebreaker, said, "I can't work with a beautiful woman calling me 'Mr.'"

"What would you have me call you?" she said, understanding his mission.

"My name is David. That would be great."

"Only if you call me Alexandra." she replied.

"Oh, I wanted to call you Ms. Gray." he said in a whining voice.

Alexandra paused, looking at him closely for the first time. He had an incredibly attractive smile on his face and the bluest eyes she had ever seen. "No, if you get your way, I get mine."

"That could be the start of a beautiful relationship." he teased, waggling his eyebrows. At her blush, Starsky said, "Alright, Alexandra, right this way."

She followed, glad he didn't notice just how crimson her face turned.

They worked for several hours, just barely making headway.

"You wouldn't happen to be hungry would you?" Starsky asked her.

"I could eat. I don't think I ate breakfast this morning." she answered.

"I thought so. Your stomach has been growling for an hour!" Starsky teased.

"Was that mine?" she replied innocently. "I thought it was your stomach."

"Maybe we're both hungry." he offered. "I know a great place close to here if you're game."

"I'm game." she replied bravely, looking into his face. She shouldn't have done that. David was not what she expected for a city detective. He was a pleasant surprise. This could get interesting.

"Walk this way, Madam." Starsky said gallantly. As she walked out the door he held open, he noticed how good she smelled. He shouldn't have done that. Once outside, he noticed how beautiful her hair was, and how green her eyes were.

I'm in trouble. he said to himself as he opened her door and she sat down in the Torino.

"Great car!" she said enthusiastically.

Yep, I'm in trouble. he thought to himself as he looked at her. "This is my baby." Starsky said proudly.

"She is beautiful." she complemented.

"Thank you very much." he said, offering his best high voltage smile.

I'm in trouble. she said to herself as she looked at him. Her heart was beating slightly faster.

"Shall we?" Starsky suggested.

"We shall." she replied.

Starsky started the Torino and headed to a place he knew he would be comfortable in.

The Pits was crowded, as it usually was during the lunch rush. Huggy darted from table to table, checking up on his waitresses while doing "PR" conversation with the regular customers. Starsky directed Alexandra to a just emptied booth perfectly located in a quiet corner away from the pool tables and bar. She immediately noticed the warmth in his touch as he placed his hand on her back to guide her to the side of the booth that backed the rest of the room. She took note of how he made sure he faced the crowd. He definitely was a cop through and through.

"What's you're pleasure? Money is no object." he offered with his killer smile.

"Well, in that case," she replied, playing along, "I think I'll have caviar, Ribeye, and the very finest champagne on the menu."

He tried to hide a grin when he replied, "Caviar is chips and salsa, Ribeye is the Pits Famous Steakburger, and the champagne is some imported beer that I can't even pronounce."

"Maybe you should order for us both. I must inform you that I do like spicy foods!" she replied, pleased with her answer.

"For the sake of that small room we're cooped up in, I will be on the conservative side and stick with the 'Starsky Special', hold the onions." he said as he waggled his eyebrows.

She felt herself blush slightly. She hated when she did that. She was so transparent, although, with David she didn't mind so much. Why was she so comfortable with this man she just met today? He had the ability to make her blush one moment then make her feel totally at ease the next.

Starsky, realizing he had caused the blush, said quickly, "Of course, if the Lady wants onions, she'll have onions."

Alexandra bravely looked into his eyes and said, "Hold the onions on both."

Now it was his turn to blush as he cleared his throat and quickly looked away. Alexandra was immensely please with herself.

"May I take your order?" Huggy said, breaking the moment.

"Two 'Starsky Specials', hold the onions." Starsky said as he gave her a quick wink.

"And I'll have water." she added.

"Make that two."

"Comin' right up!" Huggy said as he walked away.

"Just what is the 'Starksy Special'?" she asked.

"A little late for that question. But it is THE best pastrami in town on sour dough bread with provolone cheese and gourmet mustard." he replied proudly.

"I had to ask, didn't I?" Alexandra laughed.

"You have a beautiful laugh." he said quietly.

"Why thank you kind sir." she replied, not blushing this time.

Again, Huggy interrupted the moment, bringing their drinks along with a huge platter of fries and a catsup bottle.

"Thanks, Hug." Starsky said dryly.

Too busy to notice the sarcasm, Huggy turned as he told them their sandwiches would be out soon.

"You said your partner was on injury leave? I hope it's not serious." she queried.

"Yeah, he sprained his ankle Monday chasin' a kid. It's not serious, thank God." Starsky said, the affection in his voice evident.

"Will you be glad to 'get back out there', as they say?" she asked.

"Beats a desk any day." he replied, flashing that smile.

Conversation was pleasant, the food excellent, and the hour too short for them both as Alexandra noted the time.

"Back to the old grind." Starsky said.

"You know," said Alexandra, "I don't think we're going to be finished with this today. How long will your partner be out?"

"Couple more days." said Starsky, catching her drift.

"If we stay with it, maybe that will be enough time." she said as she looked directly into his deep blue eyes.

Not to be out done, Starsky scooted closer to her, within mere inches of her face and said, "Maybe we will have to work around the clock." looking into her eyes, holding her gaze captive. Was she breathing? She couldn't tell. His eyes locked onto hers, she felt his warm breath on her face. She couldn't look away. She swallowed hard.

Once again, Huggy to the rescue, setting their bill on the table. Quickly putting aside the not so unpleasant tension, they returned to Parker Center and resumed their work. Occasionally, their hands would touch sending a shock down to her toes. Alexandra hoped he wouldn't notice. This could not be happening. She was more professional than this. He couldn't get to her so quickly, so completely.

Starsky had similar problems as he noticed her perfume when she was near. He noticed how her mouth perfectly formed a beautiful, easy smile that made him catch his breath each time. He hoped she didn't notice.

Alexandra stood, stretching and rubbing her aching neck.

Noticing her quiet wince, Starsky said, "Maybe we should call it a day."

"I didn't realize what time it was. Maybe we should." she agreed. A nervous silence stretched between them.

Finally, Starsky said, "Well, see you bright and early in the morning, say 8?"

"Eight sharp." she replied.

Did he hear a slight disappointment in her voice or was it just wishful thinking? He didn't want this day to end.

"Tomorrow then." he said to her. "Coward." he said to himself as he watched her walk away.

Sleep didn't come easy for her. She tossed and turned, dreaming of deep blue eyes and a toe-curling smile. He didn't fare much better as he dreamed of that very kissable mouth and the beautiful way her head tossed back when she laughed.

Next morning, he turned the shower off, quickly dried off, shaved, ran a comb through the rat's nest the sleepless night left on his head, brushed his teeth, swished the Listerene around in his mouth and spit.

"What happened? I'm a mess!" he said, looking in the mirror. Even Hutch noticed something was up last night when Starsky went by to check on him, causing and endless barrage of questions. Not willing to devulge anything, Starsky skillfully evaded the questions with vague answers and tales of his boring day going over paperwork with the Feds. He left out, of course, the woman who had completely captivated his every thought and revived feelings he thought long dead since Terry's death.

He didn't even realize he had arrived at Parker Center. Parking the Torino, he used the stairs instead of the elevator to the second floor to give him time to clear his head.

She probably won't even show today, Starsky thought, Why would a woman like that even think twice about a guy like me?

His thoughts were abruptly interrupted when he looked up and saw Alexandra walking toward him.

"Perfect timing," she smiled as she neared him.

Wow, he thought. Green is her color. She wore black pants, boots, and a beautiful emerald green blouse that set off her eyes perfectly. Her full brunette hair swinging in rythum with her stride.

"Yeah, perfect." he said with a hidden meaning.

Her thoughts were similar as she took in his appearance. Did he know how good he looked, what he did to her? His tan shirt complemented his dark complexion, unbuttoned just enough to reveal a small portion of his well muscled chest. The worn leather jacket only intensified the charisma and attraction as did his worn jeans. A night apart had not diminished the attraction she had toward him. This man was gorgeous!

This was going to be a long day, she thought to herself. How could she let herself go this far in her thoughts. He could have any woman he wanted, why would he be interested in her?

"Mornin'." he offered, bringing her out of her revery.

"And top of the morning to you." she replied with unexpected control of her voice. "Ready to hit those files?"

"Ready or not." he answered with a smile.

The day moved quickly. They ordered lunch in and worked until 6, making a good amount of progress. Starsky was proud of his professionalism, keeping his thoughts in check and his mind on the work at hand. Alexandra was successful in this as well, enjoying the company and the progress. Now came the hard part.

"You hungry?" he tentively asked.

"Starving!" she replied, hoping she didn't sound too eager.

"Both feet!" he though to himself before continuing. "How about a great big steak, cooked to your liking, some charming company, no 'shop' talk, in a quiet little restaurant down on the beach where you can here the waves crashin' on the shore?"

"Sounds like a perfect evening." she replied, looking into his hopeful gaze.

"Well, if I can find you some charming company, we'll have it made!" he joked.

Grabbing his arm she said, "I think I just found him!"

"Hope you're right." he replied as he placed his hand over hers and led her to the elevator.

The restaurant was just as he described. The only table available was outside on the deck, although she didn't mind. It was perfect. The sound of the sea, the soft music, good food, and very charming company made the evening one of the most special she had ever had.

"Wanna walk off this steak on the beach?" he asked.

"Good idea." she answered, maybe anticipating something more than he was offering.

He held her hand as they walked down the deck stairs to the sandy beach. She bent down and removed her shoes.

"It's been a long time since I took the time to do this." she said.

"Me too." he said in almost a whisper. Alexandra looked at him. He was staring out into the ocean, lost in his thoughts. My God, he was gorgeous.

"Penny for your thoughts." she said, hesitant to interfere.

"They're probably not worth that much. Just avoiding what I'm really thinking." he said, with a lowered voice, making her heart jump with hope. Did he really feel the same way she did? Did he long to hold her, to take this one step further?

Like he read her mind, he lifted her face to his with a soft finger on her chin. Her breath stopped as he drew closer. "Alex." he whispered in her ear, making her tremble. The tremble, not escaping his notice, encouraged him to risk a light kiss on her cheek. Backing up from her, he looked into her face. Her eyes were closed, lips slightly parted. As he lowered his mouth to hers, she whispered his name. When their lips touched, the jolt rocked them both. She raised her hands to his neck and allowed herself to run her fingers through his dark, soft curls, drawing him closer. He slowly slid his hands down her back, causing a small moan to escape her lips. He deepened the kiss, pulling her close in his arms. Kissing her slow and deliberate, he pushed aside all of his self-doubts, believing that maybe, just maybe, she was enjoying this as much as he was.

Breathless, she pulled away, looking into his midnight blue eyes, getting lost in the desire she saw in them. "I'm a bit rusty, David." she confessed.

"Practice makes perfect, Alex." Starsky replied, his eyes twinkling with mischeif.

"Is this too good to be true, David?"

"Well, it's true, and it's too good." he smiled as he drew her into another mindbending kiss. Their tongues danced as they allowed themselves to get lost in their passion, if just for a moment.

He pulled away from her with a moan. "God, Alex." he whispered against her ear.

"I'm a little scared, David. I didn't realize how intense this would be." she said with a shaky voice.

"Maybe we should take it slow." he offered.

"Maybe we should." she replied, "But not too slow?" she asked as she looked hopefully into his handsome face.

That high voltage smile of his appeared as he said, "Not too slow."

Changing the mood, he said, "Dance with me." indicating with his head the soft, slow music that could be heard from the restaurant down the beach. He pulled her into an easy embrace as she silently nodded her answer. Slowly swaying in rythum with the music, they danced, lost in the feel of their bodies touching, relishing the nearness, and the innocent contact.

"Oh, David, this is the most romantic thing I've ever seen."

"Yeah, you surprised?" he said, teasing.

"No, just shocked at how lucky I am."

"You're lucky? I'm the lucky one darlin'. I got the most beautiful woman in town in my arms. What's more lucky than that?" he challenged.

"Having the most handsome, charming, sexiest man in town holding me! That's more lucky!" she said, aware of her bad grammer.

They didn't realize how long they had been dancing until the music stopped and the lights were turned off.

"I guess that's my cue to take you home, huh?" he asked.

"I guess so. We do have a long day tomorrow," she agreed.

The ride home was peaceful. An easy, contented quiet settled between them as she leaned into him and he dropped his arm over her shoulder. Arriving at her apartment, he gentlemanly opened her car door. Placing his hands on both sides of her face, he slowly and gently kissed her.

"I better say goodnight right here." he said, pulling relunctantly away.

"Why is that?" she answered, slightly confused.

"We did say we were going to take it slow, remember?"

Understanding, she blushed, "Oh yeah, we did."

"See you tomorrow, Alex."

"I like that name, David."

He kissed her forehead and returned to his side of the car. Pausing before getting in, he said, "Sleep well," flashing her the smile that caused her heart to flip flop.

"About as good as you will." she teased.

"Touche." he smiled as he dropped down into his car and drove away before he changed his mind.

As the Torino picked up speed on the highway toward home, Starsky thought about the night. He was finally beginning to live again. He knew Terry would want that. He allowed himself to hope that maybe he could love again too. He had a lot to think about, but first, he had to talk to someone who would be as excited as he was. Hutch.

It wasn't until Starsky was bounding up the stairs at Venice Place two at a time that he realized it was one in the morning. "Hutch won't mind." he said to himself, confidently. Reaching expertly for the spare key above the door, he thought, "I wouldn't mind if it was Hutch."

Entering the apartment, he quietly closed the door behind him. Hearing the snoring coming from the bedroom, Starsky had second thoughts about coming so late. Turning to leave, he said a little too loud, "I'll tell him in the morning. He'll be back at work."

"Tell me what?" Hutch groggily barked.

"Sorry, Sleeping Beauty. Tried to get out before I woke you up." Starsky sheepishly replied.

"Tell me what, Starsk? Is anything wrong?" Hutch asked, the worry in his voice evident.

"Oh, no, nothin' like that. I got good news for a change." His enthusiasm was returning.

Hutch limped into the living area, trying to focus his still sleepy eyes on the clock. "This better be good."

"Good ain't the word. Fantastic is the word! I think I'm in love!" Starsky belted out.

Hutch, momentarily stunned at the confession, looked at his partner. "Starsk, you wanna sit down and tell me about this?"

Not sitting down, but pacing, Starsky continued, "Hutch, I know I caught you off guard, but I haven't told you everything that's been goin' on the last three days."

"Obviously." was the curt reply.

Continuing a little more cautiously, "I did tell you I was workin' with the Feds on paperwork from the Stryker case."

"Right." down to one-word answers from Hutch.

"Well, one of the Feds was a woman named Alexandra. God, Hutch, she's beautiful. She's got these green eyes that..."

"Starsky." Hutch interrupted.

"Oh yeah." Starsky continued. "I was working with Alex..."

"Alex?" Hutch interrupted again, beginning to enjoy the exuberance in his partner that had been missing too long.

"Yeah. That's what I call her." said Starsky, slightly annoyed. "Well, one thing led to another and I took her out tonight and I think I love her!"

"Is that it?" Hutch said, confused.

"Yeah!" Starsky said, really getting annoyed now.

"Why do you think you love her?" Hutch questioned.

Realizing Hutch was only being protective, Starsky calmed down before answering. "I can't explain it exactly, but, I can't think of anything else. When I'm with her I feel like I did when I was with Terry. I don't have to think about what I say. She's easy to talk to and even likes the Torino. And Hutch, when she looks at me, I get hot as hell when she just says my name!"

"I think you're in trouble, Buddy." Hutch responded with a smile and a pat on his partner's back. "You deserve this." Seeing the smile on his friend's face warmed Hutch deep in his heart. Squeezing Starsky's shoulder, Hutch said, "Tell me more."

As Starsky continued raving about Alexandra, Hutch thought to himself, God, he does deserve this. Protect his heart. He's been through so much.

Two hours later, Hutch locked the door behind Starsky and limped back to bed. "Please let this be real this time." he said out loud. "Please!"

Starsky was awakened by the sound of the phone. Looking at the clock with blurry eyes, and grabbing the phone with a hand that was still asleep, he said, "It's six o'clock in the mornin'!"

"I am sorry for calling you so early." Alex's voice purred on the other end.

"Alex! You okay?" Starsky asked, instantly waking up.

"Yes, David. I just called to tell you about the change of plans before you left for work." she explained.

"Change of plans?" he questioned.

"Yes. My boss called me at five this morning and told me to be on a plane for San Francisco at nine. I have to review another case and stay for a conference Saturday. I'm sorry, but I'll have to put off the Stryker case for a few days." she answered.

"Hutch will be back today so I was gonna have to change plans anyway." he replied, relieved. "Do you need a ride to the airport?"

"I would love nothing better than to spend time with you before I go, but I have to go to the office first. I am leaving now." she replied, the disappointment obvious.

"Have a great trip. You can call if you want." he offered, hopefully.

"I will call you at the station when I know where I'll be staying and the phone number there. David, I'll miss you."

Wishing she was standing in front of him, he said quietly, "Thanks for sayin' that. I'll miss you too. Be careful, huh?"

Trying to slow her breathing down, she answered, "I will be very careful. I can't wait to see you again."

His smile could be heard in his response, "I'll count the hours. Hey, didn't Shakespeare say that?"

Laughing, she replied, "I'm not sure. I have to run or I'll miss my flight. I WILL call you. Bye."

"Yeah, bye." Starsky said as he hung up.

Rolling over to his back, he stared at the ceiling. He refused any negative thoughts. Her leaving now was only coincidence, her job. Nothing more. Not being able to go back to sleep, he decided to pick up Hutch early. He had missed him these last few days. Showering and dressing quickly, he headed for Venice Place.

"You know, this is the second time in less that twelve hours that you woke me up." Hutch nearly growled. Seeing the look on Starsky's face, Hutch changed his tone quickly. "Hey Buddy, what's wrong?"

"Probably nothin'. Alex got called out of town." Starsky stated bluntly.

Giving Starsky time to finish, Hutch silently placed his hand on his friend's shoulder.

"She had some case to review in Frisco, then a seminar on Saturday." he continued. "Hutch, I got this feelin' in the pit of my stomach."

"Starsk, don't jump to any conclusions." Hutch said gently. "She does have a job that involves travel."

"I know, I know. It's just with my track record, I'm gettin' a little jumpy. What's with me and women?" Starsky questioned, wanting an honest answer from his friend.

Thinking before answering, Hutch began, "Starsk, women love you. You draw women like a magnet, Buddy. Lately, the women you've drawn are looking for something different from life than you are. I got a feeling though, this one may be different."

"Yeah?" Starsky looked up at him, hopefully.

"Yeah." Hutch smiled. "Just give it a little time. See what she wants from you, from life. Don't rush it, okay?"

"Kay." Starsky responded, almost like a little boy.

"Let's go to work, huh? I've missed it!" Hutch said with enthusiasm.

"I have too, Blondie. Let's do it!" Starsky agreed.

After Hutch showered and dressed, they headed to Parker Center. Of course, there was a donut shop stop along the way!

The first day back at work for Hutch was very uneventful, thankfully. His ankle was still pretty tender. They got a call from Huggy about the kids that were involved in the case they were working on when Hutch sprained his ankle. At least now they knew where to look. Returning to the station from the meeting with Huggy, they mapped out a strategy to possibly get ahead of the young hoodlums. Their planning was interrupted by the phone.

Picking up the phone without even looking at it, Starsky answered, "Starsky. Alex?"

Hutch looked up at his surprised partner. Relief flooded him. He knew Starsky had been anxious all day, beginning to doubt Alex would call.

"Yeah, go ahead. Got it." he said, writing something down and stuffing the paper in his pocket. "How was your trip?"

On the other end, Alex was thinking how nice his voice sounded on the phone. She had been thinking about him all day long. "I had a wonderful flight." she said, sarcastically. "I sat beside an old man with bad breath, who kept falling asleep on my shoulder, and behind a four year old who never stopped asking me questions. How has your day been?"

"Well, Hutch won't stop whinin' about his ankle, Dobey's in a great mood, and we got teenagers who wanna be Dillinger. How's that?" he countered.

"Looks like our days are equally rotten." she said.

"You sure cheered me up, though." Starsky said as he turned his back to Hutch. Hutch just smiled and pretended to be busy.

"You've made my day too. I should be back in my room by ten o'clock if you feel like wasting a little time on the phone." she said, trying not to sound like she was begging.

"I'll call you at ten sharp. Watch yourself, okay?" he replied.

"I'll do that. I'll be waiting for your call. Bye." she promised.

"Bye, Alex." Starsky concluded the conversation.

"I told you she would call." Hutch said in his 'I told you so' tone of voice.

Smiling, Starsky replied, "Yeah, you did and she did. Okay, back to work."

"Oh no!" Hutch said. "You aren't getting off that easy. What did she say?"

"Hutch, all she said was that she'd be in her room by ten and for me to call." Starsky replied, condensing the conversation as only he could.

Not pushing any further, Hutch went back to work. He would get it out of Starsky later.

The plan was finished. They would spring the trap early tomorrow morning. Clearing everything with Dobey, they cut out for the day, knowing they would be back at work before dawn.

The evening at The Pits went by quickly. A few beers, pool, and greasy hamburgers passed the time. Hutch was amused at how Starsky kept looking at his watch. By nine o'clock, Starsky was ready to go home.

"The night is still young, Buddy. What's your hurry?" Hutch teased.

"Hutch," Starsky said in a low voice only Hutch could hear, "I gotta figure out what I'm gonna say. Just because you don't have trouble talking to women don't mean I'm good at it."

"Alright, alright. Abby wants to talk about this weekend anyway. I think she wants us to go see her parents." Hutch said, rolling his eyes.

Laughing at his partners predicament, Starsky said, "That would be good for you two. Go with my blessing!"

"Yeah, so you can sit on the phone all weekend?" Hutch teased.

"I doubt she'll be able to do that. She's busy with work and that seminar conference thing." Starsky reminded him.

"I'm sure you both will find some time." Hutch said with confidence.

"Bye Hutch. Go to Abby's. Think about your own love life." Starsky said, playfully.

"Leaving." Hutch said, walking out the door.

Arriving back at his apartment at 9:30, Starsky nervously paced the floor, staring at the phone. Counting down the time, ten o'clock finally came. Dialing the number with a shaky hand, Starsky was relieved beyond measure when Alex answered.

"Hello, David." her voice soothed away his doubts.

"Good thing it was me." he teased.

"Somehow I knew it would be you. Besides, you're the only one I gave this number to!" was her reply.

"I'm honored. You sound tired. Long day?" he asked.

"Just boring. My mind was definately somewhere else. How was your day?" she asked in return.

"My mind was somewhere else too. Been thinkin' of you all day." he said, honestly. He had decided he may as well be honest, and put all his cards on the table. Not pushy, but honest. He had no idea it was just what she wanted to hear.

"I guess we are in the same boat. I haven't been able to think of anything but you since that first day. I wish this conversation weren't happening over the phone." Alex said

"It might be better that it is." Starsky replied. "This way, I have no choice but to keep my hands to myself."

Glad that he couldn't see the blush on her face, she returned, "Would that be so bad?"

"Taking it slow would be impossible." he confessed.

"You just remember, I said not too slow." she laughed.

"I definitely remember those words!" he laughed as well.

A knock on her door disrupted the playful banter. "Oh David, Sharon is here with those case files. I'm afraid I have to go. I"ll be home Sunday."

"What would be a good time for you tomorrow?" he asked, understanding her situation.

"I'll call you in the morning at home." she promised.

"Deal. Sleep tight." he said in a low husky voice.

Swallowing hard, she replied. "About as good as you will."

Recalling an earlier conversation, Starsky answered, "Touche again. Bye, Alex."

"Bye, David."

After a near sleepless night, Starsky was ready when Hutch got to his place at four in the morning. The trap they had set for the young criminals was in place. Clearing his head of Alex for the moment, Starsky got his mind on the job at hand. Knowing the kids would hit this liquor store at this particular time was a huge favor they owed Huggy. It never ceased to amaze Starsky how Huggy could come up with information like this.

Starsky, Hutch, and two other cops were in position when the rear alley door of the store opened slowly. Having a better vantage point, Starsky could tell Hutch couldn't see the kid exit the store carrying a three foot long two by four.

"Huuuutch!" Starsky yelled as the youth swung the board at Hutch. Hutch ducked just in time to prevent being clubbed, but a lunging Starsky was not so lucky. The force of the backswing connected solidly with Starsky's head. It stopped him in his tracks. He dropped to the ground like a rock, out cold.

Waiting once again in a hard chair in the emergency room was something Hutch would never get used to. At least this time, the crooks were caught, the case was closed, and as hard as Starsky's head was, hopefully it was a minor injury. It always scared Hutch, though, how much a bump on the head could bleed.

How many times did this make that Starsky had saved him? They were pretty even in the contest, but it sure was hard on him to see Starsky hurt because of him. Now Starsky would be laid up all weekend. There was sure to be a concussion, stitches, and one hell of a headache. Abby would understand him missing the trip to her parents for him to take care of Starsky, she always did. It was the least he could do.

A thought crossed his mind. He was gonna do his partner and Abby a favor. He had a phone call to make. A call Starsky would thank him for. A call to San Francisco.

Getting Starsky settled wasn't hard. The shot they had given him at the hospital had rendered him helpless for all intents and purposes. Barely able to finish his shower before the medication kicked in full force, Hutch helped him dress for bed. Starsky had collapsed on the bed, covered his eyes, and more or less passed out from exhaustion.

The knock on the door came just when Hutch expected. She was right on time, a good sign. Opening the door, Hutch was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful lady standing there. Starsky was right. Those eyes.

"You must be Alexandra." Hutch greeted, holding out a hand to shake.

"And you must be Hutch. I've heard a lot about you." she said as she entered the apartment.

"Same here." Hutch replied. "He talks about you all the time."

"I was going to say the same thing!" she laughed.

Starsky was right, Hutch thought to himself, She did have a nice laugh.

"Is he okay?" she inquired, with concern in her voice.

"Thank God he has a hard head." Hutch said, fondly. "He had a concussion, eleven stitches, and a whopper of a headache." Seeing the worry on her face, Hutch added quickly, "But it's nothing he hasn't had before. The Doc gave him a shot of morphine before he left the emergency room. He's pretty much comatose right now."

"Are there any special doctor's orders I need to know?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'll get to those." Hutch answered. "Can we talk a minute first?"

"Sure. I expected we would." Alex replied.

Thinking a minute before continuing, Hutch began, "First, I want you to know Starsky is crazy about you." Noting her blush, Hutch continued, "I would like to know how you feel about him. Forgive me for interfering, but he's been through so much lately. I don't want him hurt."

"Hutch, before you go on, I want to tell you something. May I?" she asked.

"Of course." Hutch answered.

"I care about David more than I ever thought I would care about anyone. I know that sounds strange since we haven't know each other for a week. But, Hutch," Alex struggled for words, "he got to my heart. No one ever has. Do you know what I mean?"

"I do." Hutch smiled. "He has a knack for doing that."

Alex continued, "I want to insure you, he will be in good hands. Thank you so much for this chance."

Hutch knew he could trust this woman with his friend. Somehow he knew. "The number to Abby's parents' house is on the refridgerator. Call me if he needs me."

"I will not hesitate." she smiled. "He is very lucky to have you looking out for him."

"I think I'm the lucky one. He has the headache, I don't." Hutch said, the affection and love in his voice obvious.

"We are both lucky. Don't you think?" Alex asked.

"Indeed we are. Listen, I gotta go or we will be in that crazy traffic. Doc says wake him up every few hours. Make sure he's alert. I don't know how alert he can get after that shot, but he should at least be able to recognize you. His pain pills are on the counter. He gets those every six hours after the shot wears off." Hutch headed for the bedroom as he talked to check once more on his friend.

"Hutch, go." Alex said. "You will be late. I will gladly check on him."

"You are right. I'm gone. Thanks, Alexandra." Hutch said as he walked out the door.

Alex quietly walked up to the doorway and leaned against the frame. Her breath caught at the sight of him. He was on his back, his right arm covering his eyes, evidence of the headache he had when he fell asleep. He wore blue pajama bottoms. His denim shirt was unbuttoned, laying open to reveal his muscular chest. His left hand rested on his incredibly flat stomach. He was the most handsome, gorgeous man she had ever seen.

Unable to resist the temptation to be close to him, to touch him, Alex took off her shoes and slowly crawled onto the bed. She gently ran her fingers through his soft, dark curls, careful of the bandage over his right eye. "Oh, David." she whispered, a little too loud. Starsky raised the arm covering his eyes. The bright light made it difficult for him to focus his aching eyes.

"Alex?" he asked, confused. "I must be dreamin'."

"No David, you are not dreaming." she said quietly. "I'm sorry I woke you."

"You're real?" he said as he reached across and gently touched her face.

"Hutch called me and told me you were hurt." Alex explained. "He didn't want you to be alone all weekend. Neither did I."

"And you came?" he asked.

"Of course I did. I had to." she confessed. "Are you in pain?"

"Nah, I'm flyin'. They gave me some kinda shot at the hospital." Starsky answered, his words slurred.

"You go back to sleep. We'll talk later, when you feel better." she said, backing off the bed.

"Where ya goin'?" he asked.

"You need rest." she answered firmly. "I'll be here when you wake up."

"Hey, come here." Starsky said, holding his arms open, inviting her in.

"Are you crazy?" Alex replied.

"I'm harmless. I promise I'll be a good boy." he pleaded.

"Me getting that close to you is NOT harmless." she countered.

"Come on. I'm like a lion with no teeth and no claws." he said, wiggling his fingers.

Knowing she was fighting a losing battle with herself, she smiled. "Okay. But only until you fall asleep." knowing she would stay with him as long as she could.

"Deal." he said, smiling a sleepy smile that made her heart pound.

She slowly, carefully snuggled up to him, her head on his arm. He turned to her with a grimace and wrapped his arms around her, tucking her head under his chin, her cheek against his chest. She laid her arm on his lean waist. She listened to the beat of his heart, hoping the pounding of hers wouldn't keep him awake.

"Now, that's better, huh?" Starsky asked as he released a long, contented sigh. "Remind me to thank Hutch."

"Much better." she agreed. She wanted to stay here the rest of her life. God, this feels so right. she thought to herself. His slow, even breathing told her that he had fallen asleep. As she softly caressed his back, Alex found herself wishing the lion had his teeth and claws. She fell asleep, dreaming of the man who held her.

Several hours later, his stirring woke her with a start. "Does your head hurt?" she asked him.

"Little." was all she could make out of his garbled response.

Sliding up in his arms, she cradled his head in her arms, holding it against her chest, gently caressing his head. "Do you need your pain medicine?"

"Nah, this is nice." His arms tightened around her waist and then relaxed as he fell asleep again.

Thankful she was there for him and able to comfort him, Alex pulled him as close as she could, relishing the nearness of him. Sandalwood, she thought to herself, finally identifying the scent as she buried her face into his dark curls, gently stroking his face.

She woke at six a.m., as she did every morning, never needing to set an alarm. Starsky was still sleeping peacefully. She slipped relunctantly out of his embrace and slowly rolled off the bed. Looking back at him, she saw that he had not stirred. Going to the kitchen, she noticed how clean it was. Everything was in order, very neat. She made coffee and went to freshen up and change clothes while it was brewing.

Checking on Starsky and finding him still asleep, she poured her coffee. She was lost in her thoughts, looking out the window over the kitchen sink, when she was startled by his arms sliding around her waist from behind, his warm breath on her neck as he nuzzled in close.

"Mornin'." he whispered against her neck causing goose bumps on her skin.

Turning in his arms, she found herself face to face with him, mere inches apart. Not being able to think clearly, she said, "David, you should be asleep."

He looked at her with intense blue eyes, "Now, how can I sleep when there's a beautiful woman in my kitchen?"

Getting her bearings, she replied, "That same beautiful woman was in your arms all night and it didn't seem to bother you."

The look on his face was priceless. "Oh, low blow. I was in a drug-induced coma. Cut me some slack."

Wrapping her arms around his neck, she said, "You're forgiven." and kissed him gently.

"Um." he said, pulling away. "You taste like coffee."

"It's a fresh pot. Do you want me to pour you a cup?" she offered.

"Nah, I"ll share yours." he said, kissing her, slowly at first, then more passionately. "Best cup of coffee I've ever had." he said, kissing her lips lightly, then her cheek. Her ear. Her neck.

"David." she said hoarsly.

Her throat. "Yeah." he whispered, moving his kisses back up. Her neck. Her ear.

"Do you know how much I want you right now." she said, getting his attention, looking directly into his handsome face.

"About half as much as I want you." he challenged.

"Wanna bet?" she answered, sliding her arms around his waist inside his shirt. Her fingers brushed his skin, causing him to quiver.

"Yeah." was all he could manage, unable to think or speak.

"What does the winner get?" she asked, her face revealing her passion.

"Darlin'." he answered. "I got a feelin' were both gonna be winners." He pulled her to him. The passion they had controlled so long now controlled them. He bent down and picked her up to carry her to a more comfortable place, their bodies wanting and needing each other.

Later, as they held each other, sated bodies cooling off, breathing slowly returning to normal, he gently caressed her back and kissed her head, satisfaction and contentment sinking into his body.

His caressing stopped abruptly when she asked, "David, who won?"

He had to see her face. Raising up on an elbow, he saw her face held the same passion-filled look he had seen earlier, her eyes burning into his, a slight smile on her face.

"I don't know. It was a close call." he said with a teasing tone. Then his voice turned serious, "I'll gladly concede if you promise me a rematch."

Drawing as close as she could, her passion mounting, she replied, "How about the best two out of three."

He laughed and said, "Lady, you're on!" kissing her deeply. Unable to control his desire, Starsky thought to himself as their passion took over once more, "I'm definitely gonna thank Hutch!"

finis finis finis

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