"Blondie, it’s clear why I've been messing around with you for years." Starsky dug into the casserole, licking his lips, and loaded a big piece of meat on his fork. “It’s your Paul Muni Special.”


“Yeah, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” Hutch said sourly, trying to open the bottle of wine.


Starsky reached out his hand. “C’mon, let me do it. Last time, you let the cork drop into the bottle, remember?”


“Only because you grabbed my ass in just the wrong moment,” Hutch countered. He adjusted his glasses and opened the bottle without any problems, staying out of harm’s way. “Bon appetit, love.”


Starsky took a big gulp from the wine and purred contentedly.


Hutch started to eat, then stopped abruptly, staring at Starsky.


“Cat got your tongue?" Starsky asked with a full mouth.


“Starsk? Oh, my God, keep sitting, don’t move.” In an instant Hutch had left his chair and was by his partner’s side. “Don’t worry. I get help.” He cupped Starsky’s face with both hands and looked deeply in his eyes. “How are you feeling?”


Starsk shoved Hutch’s hands aside. “Apart from feeling a bit numb because of the injection my dentist gave me, I’m perfectly fine. What’s wrong with YOU?”


“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Starsk. I thought you had a stroke when wine and sauce were running out of the corner of your mouth.” Hutch kneeled in front of his partner, wrapping his arms around Starsky’s waist.


“Really?” Starsky looked puzzled. He fingered the numb cheek and noticed the wetness.


“Aw, Hutch, everything’s okay. I didn’t realize…” Starsky grabbed for the napkin.


“Let me do it.” Tenderly, Hutch wiped Starsky’s mouth. Then he kissed him.


“It’s clear why I’m messing around with you,” Starsky said, returning the kiss. “It’s you.”





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