Riding the Loa

by Cassandra



In Voudon, the loa are also known as “the Divine Horsemen” because of their special relationship to their worshippers; a person who becomes possessed is said to be “mounted by the loa” and is in a sense the “horse” during the while.


Mystere et Cheval

An overview of Voudon in Haiti

by Maren M. Ulberg



His thumb didn’t hurt anymore. He realized it as he climbed onto the rocks. He wished it still did. It would have been a welcome distraction from the hornet’s nest buzzing in his brain.

He’d tried to kill Hutch.

At least, that’s what Hutch said. Starsky couldn’t remember it. He remembered climbing the hill. He remembered the sound of a flute, far off, and a vague sense of a malicious and unwelcome presence. Papa Theodore. Then . . . nothing. Nothing until he was in the water with Hutch.

The strange presence was gone from his mind, but something else was still there. Something that clogged his brain, enveloping his thoughts in thick haze so that it was hard to think. He knew he didn’t want Hutch dead, felt no need to take his life, no matter what he’d been told happened. 

The only thing that stood out in his perception was Hutch. He couldn’t stay away from him. As they climbed back onto the rocks, he kept reaching for him, plucking at his sleeve, grabbing at him. Everything about him was intoxicating: the heat of his skin through his wet clothes, the smell of his hair, shampoo and sweat and ocean, his eyes. His eyes, looking toward the hill. He knew Hutch wanted to climb back up.

“We climbed that already.” The last thing Starsky wanted to do was scale that cliff again. His body was battered, tired, and his head was buzzing. His limbs felt as if they were filled with lead. He needed a minute, needed to rest and clear his head. If Hutch would just sit here a moment with him, he knew he could do it. He just needed Hutch to stay with him, just until he could think straight again. But Hutch didn’t seem to understand that. He got up and walked toward the hill, expecting Starsky to follow.

The vibration in Starsky’s head grew. Hutch moved away, the world around him turning hazy and dark.

No. Hutch had to stay with him.

He reached for him, intending to pull him back, make him stay. But Hutch struggled. He realized then that his arm was around Hutch’s throat. That he held him in a chokehold. He didn’t mean to do that. But it felt good, Hutch’s body writhing against his own.

It didn’t take long for Hutch to weaken. Though Starsky was mesmerized by the movement of heat and skin against his own, still he felt it when Hutch lost consciousness, felt him sag in his arms and go limp. He lowered him to a depression in the rock where a thin layer of sand and a shallow pool of water had accumulated, made sure he was breathing.

Good. Deep and steady. Starsky crouched beside him and smoothed the damp hair from his face. He didn’t think he’d be out for long. He would wake up and want to go. He wouldn’t want Starsky to touch him anymore, not after what happened. He’d go away.  Starsky moaned at the thought. He had to make him stay, had to keep him.

He checked to make sure Hutch was still unconscious, then scrambled over the rocks to the area by the hill where he’d discarded the backpack. He’d been distracted by the pain in his thumb and his head when he’d thrown it away, hadn’t wanted to bother with it after he had taken out their clothes and those damned obscene dolls. There wasn’t much left in it anyway. A small pocketknife, a canteen, a bottle of sunscreen.

He found the pack easily. He hadn’t thrown it far. He kicked their flippers out of the way and retrieved it, then rushed back to Hutch. The canteen had broken, cheap piece of plastic crap, but he didn’t need it anyway. He tossed the broken canteen aside and pulled out the pocketknife. He’d thrown it into the pack thinking he might be able to jimmy a lock with it if he had to. It would be useless in a fight, too small. But it was sharp.

It only took a moment to cut the straps off the backpack, but Hutch was already beginning to stir. Starsky rolled him over, making sure the water didn’t reach his mouth or nose, and used the straps to bind his wrists behind his back.

Starsk? What the hell are you doing?” Hutch twisted, trying to roll back over, but he was still groggy and his struggles weak.

Starsky hadn’t thought about what he was doing, but it came to him suddenly when Hutch asked, the haze in his mind replaced with clarity of purpose. His brain still buzzed and hummed, but he rode the sensation rather than fought it, the effect spreading through his body. The world came into focus, and Hutch was at its center.

When had he decided this? It felt as if it had come to him full-formed. But it didn’t matter—the choice was made. Starsky straddled his partner’s body. He was in control now, knew what to do. “Hutch, don’t make me hurt you. Be still.”

“If you aren’t trying to hurt me then what are you doing?” Hutch snapped back. “I thought this was over. Starsk, you don’t want to kill me. Fight this.”

Starsky grabbed a handful of Hutch’s hair, yanked his head back so he could look into his face. “I don’t want to kill you.  I don’t want to hurt you, but I gotta do this.” Yes, that was it exactly. He had to do this. Neither of them had a choice.

Hutch pulled at the bonds around his wrists, trying to work them loose. “Do what? What’re you going to do?”

Starsky heard the panic in Hutch’s voice. He didn’t understand. Starsky knew he wouldn’t. He leaned down, his erection pushing into Hutch’s back.

Pressing his lips to Hutch’s ear, he whispered, “You belong to me.”

Hutch bucked beneath him, and Starsky tightened his grip, giving his head a hard shake to emphasize who was in charge. “Don’t, Hutch. I don’t want to slam your head against this rock, but I will if it’s the only way to keep you still.”

Hutch stilled, panting from the exertion. His eyes were huge, fixed on Starsky’s. “Don’t do this. You’ll regret it later. Try to think how you’ll feel when it’s done.”

Starsky reached beneath Hutch’s body to get to the zipper on his warm-up jacket. He had to get on with it. Debate was useless. “I can’t. All I can think about is doin’ it. You think about it, Hutch. Tell me you haven’t thought about it before.”

It was awkward pulling down the zipper on Hutch’s jacket, but he finally managed to get it loose. He pulled Hutch’s head back until his back was bent like a bow and dragged the jacket from underneath his torso and down his arms, leaving it crumpled over his bound wrists. Hutch howled as he pulled his hair and twisted and squirmed as the jacket was peeled from his body. It was beautiful, the way the muscles in his back worked and flexed, the feel of the surging body beneath him. Amazing.

Hutch paused, attempting to pick up the thread of the conversation. "Thinking about someone and forcing yourself on them are two different things. You’ll see it later, understand it.  You’ll hate yourself for hurting me.”

Starsky was only half-listening, intent on tracing Hutch’s shoulder blade with the flat of his palm. Hutch was like a statue, so perfect, like he was carved from stone. But warm, so very warm beneath his moving fingers. “You have thought about it. I know you have.”

Hutch made a sound of frustration, half-sigh, half-strangled scream. “You’re not hearing me. Try to listen to me. I don’t want this.”

Starsky smiled, running his hand over Hutch’s shoulder and down his chest. “I think you do.” He moved his hand lower, forced it under Hutch’s body. He cupped Hutch’s cock through his shorts, not at all surprised to feel it straining against his zipper. “Still gonna try to convince me you don’t want it?” He squeezed hard, gratified to hear Hutch moan in response. “Bullshit. You’re begging for it.”

He squeezed Hutch’s dick, then released it, then again, knuckles scraping on the rock beneath. He watched goose flesh form on Hutch’s shoulders and neck and licked a slow stripe from his pulse to his ear. He blew on the wet flesh to intensify the effect. A flush spread outward from Hutch’s neck, his breath quickening, hitching.

If he hadn’t been listening so intently, he might not have heard Hutch’s murmured, “Starsky, please,” over the sound of the surf crashing on the rocks. It was almost enough to push him over the edge. He’d never known it would feel like this, hearing Hutch plead.

“Please what, babe? Tell me what you really want, and you just might get it,” Starsky whispered, his voice ragged. He unbuttoned Hutch’s shorts. “Ask me. C’mon, beg me to fuck you.”

But Hutch began to buck again, thrashing wildly beneath him. Starsky cursed and pulled his hand from beneath his partner’s body. Hutch was going to ruin it. He yanked back hard on his hair, wrapping an arm around his neck.

“Damn it, Hutch, stop it. Stop fighting me, or I’ll put you out again. I swear I will.”

He tightened his hold to make his point, squeezing until he couldn’t hear Hutch’s breath anymore, couldn’t hear anything but the surf and his own pounding heart.

He didn’t know what brought him back. Maybe just instinct. He let up just enough to allow Hutch to take a breath. “So what’s it gonna be?”

Hutch gulped air for a second. “You son of a bitch. Suck it.”

Starsky couldn’t help smiling at Hutch, defiant to the last. It would backfire this time. “Whatever you say,” he said, tightening his hold again, just tight enough, just long enough to take the fight out of him.

When Hutch went limp, he released his hold and flipped him over on the rock. Unimpeded, he stripped Hutch of his shorts and underwear and straddled his body again, this time pinning his legs. He took a moment just to admire him. All that blond beauty, the sun shining down on his body, his fine gold hair floating in the shallow pool around him like a halo. His. All his.

Hutch was coming back to full consciousness, rolling his head in the water, muttering. “Starsky, it’s not too late. Stop this before it goes too far.”

Starsky just looked at him for a moment, too stunned by the sight of Hutch’s body laid out beneath him to reply. Finally he shook his head. “Too late. Way too late. It was too late a long time ago. You’re mine. Don’t know why it took me this long to figure it out.”

He leaned forward and placed his hands on Hutch’s hips, fitted his fingers around his pelvic bones. Hutch jerked up suddenly, but Starsky snapped his hips down sharply. “No. Don’t do that, Hutch. Don’t move. I might hurt you accidentally if you do.”

He leaned forward over Hutch’s cock. Hutch had become soft again during the struggle, but it didn’t matter. He wanted this. Starsky knew he did, knew just how to prove to him that he did.

He looked up the length of Hutch’s body, locked eyes with him. “Just giving you what you asked for.” Slowly, deliberately, he leaned down and dragged his tongue over the length of Hutch’s cock.

Hutch moaned and thrust with his hips.  Starsky tightened his grip. “Easy, Blondie. I’m just getting started here.” He felt Hutch go rigid.  His partner wasn’t looking at him anymore. He lay still, head turned away, eyes tightly closed.

Starsky wasn’t going to be ignored.

He rubbed his face against Hutch’s hardening cock, nuzzled the soft sac beneath it. “Hutch, look at me,” he whispered, but it was an unmistakable command.

Hutch slowly opened his eyes and looked at him. Starsky smiled. “That’s better. I want your full attention for this,” then closed his mouth over Hutch’s cock, sucking him in deep.

Sweet merciful God, why had he never done this before? For years he had filled his senses with Hutch. He had seen him damn near every day, heard him talk, yell, sing. He touched him constantly, knew the texture of his skin and hair. He knew what he smelled like right after a shower, after riding around in the car for hours in brutal summer heat. Why had he never tasted him?

Moaning low in his throat, he sucked Hutch deeper. He had never given a blow job before, but he’d been giving instructions on how to give them for years. He wasn’t shy about telling women exactly how he liked it. Wetter. Deeper. Dirtier.

He knew what he was doing. He could tell. Hutch’s breathing was quick and shallow, stopped altogether when Starsky took him deeper still. He let his grip up on Hutch’s hips a little, felt them rock under his hands. Hutch’s cock was twitching, swelling, leaking. So close, right on the edge.

Starsky pulled away with one long last lick and sat back on his heels, tearing at his shirt. He threw it off, desperate to feel Hutch’s bare skin against his own. He looked down at the twitching, shuddering body beneath him, saw Hutch’s cock rock-hard and glistening wet against his belly. The sight made his mouth go dry, made him feel dizzy.

 “Can’t wait anymore.” He opened his shorts and slipped a hand inside, stroking himself. God, he was hard, so hard it hurt. “You gonna fight me?”

Hutch looked away. “No. Just get on with it.”

That was unexpected. Hutch never gave up. Starsky removed his hand from his pants and leaned over Hutch, looking into his face, measuring his intent. “You mean it? You won’t fight?”

Starsky saw Hutch glance down between them, knew he was looking at his cock sticking out from his shorts. He smiled and thrust his hips forward a little. Hutch gasped and looked back at Starsky’s face. “I mean it. No more fighting. If you hurt me, if I make you hurt me, you won’t come back from it.”

Starsky grabbed Hutch’s cock and pumped once, heard him gasp a little. “So you’re just gonna lie back and think of England? That it, Hutch? Do what you have to do to save me from myself? I don’t think so.”

He kissed him, open-mouthed and deep. Hutch allowed it, didn’t try to turn away, but he didn’t reciprocate. It didn’t matter. He couldn’t hide his reaction. He couldn’t stifle the moan that rose in the back of his throat or stop his cock from jerking in Starsky’s hand.

Starsky pulled back from the kiss and shot Hutch a feral, knowing grin. “See? Tell yourself whatever you want—you’re loving this.”

Before Hutch could make any reply, Starsky turned Hutch over and pulled him to his knees until he was in a kneeling position in front of him, Hutch’s back to his chest. He pulled Hutch’s ankles back on either side of him so Hutch was straddling him, forced to lean back against him or fall face first into a shallow puddle.

Starsky held Hutch with one hand against his chest while he pulled his shorts down to mid-thigh with the other, finally freeing his cock. He groaned and ground himself against Hutch’s ass. He humped against him mindlessly, lost in the sensation.

He felt Hutch shudder. “Starsk, untie me. I told you I wouldn’t fight.” Panic made his voice sharp.

“Shut up.”

Looking around, Starsky found the sunscreen lying next to the ruined backpack. Grabbing it, he spun the cap with his thumb, sending it rolling over the surface of the rock and down into the sea. He poured a large amount of the lotion into his hand and set the bottle down beside him. Rubbing his hands together, he rasped into Hutch’s ear, “Hang on, partner. This is where things get interesting.”

He slid his lotion-drenched hands down Hutch’s body to his ass and groin, started finger-fucking him while stroking his cock. He worked his body with both hands in a steady constant rhythm, and, damn, Hutch grew louder and more intense while Starsky worked him, flinging his head and sounding like he was dying, until he rode three of Starsky’s fingers.

Too much. It was too damn much. Starsky pulled his hands away from Hutch’s body, loving the cry Hutch let out as he did, and grabbed the sunscreen again. He grabbed Hutch by the back of his neck and pushed him away just enough so that he could pour it over himself, covering his cock and thighs, then threw the empty bottle into the ocean. He stroked himself once, twice, then pulled Hutch’s hip back roughly while he positioned himself.

“Now you belong to me,” he growled into Hutch’s ear as he thrust, burying himself up to the hilt in Hutch’s ass in one brutal stroke.

And he froze. He didn’t move, couldn’t move, not without losing it. He gritted his teeth and felt sweat pouring down his face. Hutch was as still as he was, but he could hear him gulping for air. Long seconds passed as his control returned, bit by bit.

He mouthed the back of Hutch’s neck, reached around to grasp his cock again. He was still hard, still gasping for air. Starsky started to stroke him in an even rhythm, rocking his hips against him, not thrusting, not yet.

He felt Hutch’s hands, trapped between them, flexing, trying to grab something, anything. He was going to be disappointed—there was no way to stop this or slow it down, no brake. Starsky rocked a little harder, thrusting a little, shallow quick thrusts, jarring Hutch against him. He stroked him a little harder, a little faster.

Hutch moaned, his breath hitching with every thrust and stroke. His cock was leaking again, pre-ejaculate mixing with the lotion coating Starsky’s hand.

Starsky picked up the pace again, thrusting deeper. “C’mon, babe, let it go. I wanna feel it when you pop. I wanna know it was my dick up your ass that did it.”

Hutch shuddered and let out a yell, his cock spurting over Starsky’s fist. Starsky felt his inner muscles flexing and rippling over his cock. He kept thrusting as Hutch sagged back against him, felt Hutch still twitching and shaking, heard him speaking in a quiet breathless voice.


Begging again. God, it was beautiful. Letting go of Hutch’s cock at last, Starsky placed both hands on his hips, held him steady as he drove deeper and harder into him. He was pouring sweat, his fingers slipping on Hutch’s hips. He tightened his hold and thrust again, the muscles in his thighs and ass burning. So good. Nothing had ever been this fucking good. He held out as long as he could, wanting to prolong it. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and came, pumping into Hutch’s body, biting hard into the meat of his shoulder.

Breathless and exhausted, he sagged over onto his side, taking Hutch with him. They fell in a heap with a tiny splash, the movement causing Starsky’s cock to slip from Hutch’s body. Both men gasped at the feel of it, then lay there, unmoving. Starsky mouthed Hutch’s shoulder lazily, tasting blood where he had bitten him. He was marked. Good.

Hutch drew a long, shuddering breath and said, “Starsky, untie me now, okay? Starsk? It’s really starting to hurt.”

Starsky pushed away from Hutch a little so he could get to his bound wrists. It took a few tries to push the jacket out of the way and work the knots loose with his shaking hands, but he finally managed to pull the straps off his partner’s wrists. He rubbed the reddened flesh, trying to massage feeling back into his hands, but Hutch pulled away and sat up, rubbing at his own wrists. He pulled the jacket back up his arms.

Starsky looked at Hutch in confusion, started to sit up and reach for him, to draw him back.

That’s when Hutch’s fist connected with his jaw.

Then nothing.


The loa is the virtuoso, not the person, who experiences profound amnesia about the event.

Mystere et Cheval

An overview of Voudon in Haiti

by Maren M. Ulberg


The plane was crowded and hot, and it smelled funny. Like fish. Or maybe just sweat. Or sweaty fish. It didn’t matter what the smell was. The point was it stank, and the headphones the stewardess had given him to watch the movie were crap. He couldn’t hear anything, and it wasn’t like he could lip-read what was going on. The movie was Japanese, for Christ’s sake.

It didn’t help that Hutch wouldn’t talk to him. Hell, he’d barely look at him. It was impossible to know what was going on in that blond head lately. He’d been strangely reluctant to return home, saying he wanted to stay for a few days, but when he found out that Papa Theodore had escaped custody he changed his mind fast enough.  Not that Starsky could blame him. The guy creeped him out. It seemed that all he had to do was wish people dead, and they obliged him by dropping on the spot. And he still couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that he’d tried to kill Hutch.

And there was something else. Something Hutch wasn’t telling him. Something that caused him to jump every time Starsky laid a hand on his arm or shoulder. Something that would explain, maybe, what he had seen in the hotel room that morning.

He had tried to get Hutch to tell him what was eating him, but every time he pushed the point, Hutch shut down. And nobody did icy like his partner. When he got like this you’d have better luck defrosting the North Pole with a hair dryer than you would getting him to warm up. 

Like right now. Hutch was sitting next to him, ignoring the flickering screen at the front of the plane and acting like he could actually read the paperback he held in the dim light. His body language was so tight it looked painful, legs crossed, arms pulled in close to his body, jaw clamped so tight you could see the muscle bulging in his face. He might as well have been wearing a “fuck off!” sign.

Damn it, this had to stop. It was a long flight, there was plenty of time to talk about it, and Hutch couldn’t walk away from him on the plane. There was nowhere to go. Time to get this out in the open before he lost his mind, wondering.

He took off the crappy headphones and without any preamble said, “Tell me again. I want to hear it from the beginning.”

Several people turned around in their seats and glared at the two men. Starsky held his hands up in apology and turned back to his partner. In a lower voice this time: “C’mon, I want to hear it again.”

Hutch glared at him. “Why? I’ve been over it with you already. More than once.”

Starsky glared right back. “Yeah, you have. Probably enough times to get your story perfect, but it ain’t the truth. You’re keeping something from me. I wanna know what it is.”

In the dim light the shadows under Hutch’s eyes looked black. He looked mad, but he also looked beaten, and that worried Starsky. And the scene in the room that morning, that kept circling in Starsky’s head like a film loop from hell.

It was gonna be bad, but he couldn’t back off.

Starsky took a deep breath and dropped his eyes. “Something happened, something I can’t remember.”

Hutch sighed. “I told you what happened. We got to the top of the hill. You attacked me. We both went over the edge into the water. You came out of the trance or whatever it was. You had a cramp and went under, and I had to drag you back up onto the rocks and bring you back around. You remember the rest, right?”

Starsky shook his head. “It’s not a bad story, and God knows how much I want to believe it. We’ve heard a lot worse over the years, but for one thing, Hutch, I wasn’t coughing up water when I came around. You realize that, doncha? And what the hell was all over me, Hutch? What was that greasy shit?”

Hutch shot him an incredulous look that would have been a lot more convincing if it hadn’t taken a couple of seconds to arrange over his face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re imagining things.”

Starsky pressed his point against Hutch’s weak defense. “Am I imagining that you’re acting like a head case? After we got back to the top of that hill, you were way off your game. Yeah, you got the job done, but you were off. How long would you have tried to wrestle the gun outa that guy’s hand? Little things like that. Things that are usually like breathing to you.” Starsky’s voice got louder again. “And ever since then you’ve been a jerk, you won’t look at me, you’re all, all tucked up, like, inside yourself and shutting me out.” He was almost yelling now. “And one more thing. I saw you in the bathroom this morning, heard you too. So don’t tell me nothing happened.”

A woman across the aisle holding a sleeping infant whipped around, looking at the two of them. Shhhhhhh!”

Starsky looked at her sheepishly and put his finger over his lips. She curled her lip at him and turned back in her seat. Starsky turned back and Hutch was sitting there staring at Starsky like he’d just stabbed him in the gut.

“You didn’t see anything. You had a dream, that’s all.”

Starsky wasn’t buying it. “No dream, Blondie. I know what I saw, I know what I heard, and I know there’s something you’re not telling me.”

Hutch looked around the crowded plane. “Let’s not do this here, Starsk. I don’t want to do this, okay, but we absolutely can’t do it here.”

Hutch was right. This didn’t belong in public. “Fine. We can’t do it here, but I’m not dropping it, Hutch. You’ve never kept anything from me before. I’m not gonna let you start now. We are going to talk about this. Soon.”

Hutch looked at him a moment longer then turned back to his book without saying another word. Starsky felt dismissed.

Putting his headphones back on he said, “Remember to turn the page every once in a while if you’re gonna keep pretendin’ to read.”

Hutch ignored him, slumping farther down in his seat, eyes fastened on his book like it was the most fascinating tale ever written instead of just a cheap paperback purchased at random in an airport. He was obviously miserable. Starsky felt bad about the crack, but it was just so damn frustrating.

He tried to get interested in the movie, but the headphones were just as bad now as before, the sound a mere tinny echo. Rodan versus Godzilla played out in front of him but he didn’t see it, watching instead the memory of that morning in his head.


Starsky awoke when Hutch got up, but he lay still, hoping he could just go back to sleep. Hutch went into the bathroom, flicking the switch just inside the door, spilling a wedge of light into the room.

Starsky opened his eyes a little and opened his mouth to yell at Hutch to shut the damn door. His partner was leaning against the sink, rubbing his shoulder. He looked like hell—head down, shoulders slumped. Like he’d been beaten down so far he didn’t know how to get back up. It took the breath out of Starsky’s chest, seeing him look like that. Hutch raised his head to look into the mirror, the harsh bathroom light accentuating the shadows under his eyes into bruises. He watched as Hutch stared at himself, then swallowed hard and turned away. Starsky moved to get up. He couldn’t watch him like that, had to do something.

Hutch pushed the door almost shut, the light reduced to a narrow slit across the floor.  The shower started, the rings on the rod clattering as the curtain opened and closed. Starsky crept out of bed and approached the bathroom.

He raised a hand to tap on the door, ask if Hutch was okay, and then he heard it.  Over the sound of the running water, Hutch’s breaths were long, indrawn, out. Fast. Gasping.

He pushed the door open a little further, peeking inside through the clear plastic curtain. Hutch stood in the shower, his back to him, one hand splayed on the wall, the other hidden by his body.

Oh, God.

There was a red and purple mark on his shoulder. Crescent shaped, deep, ugly. A bite mark? And when he turned a little, Starsky saw bruises on his hips, long, dark, shaped like a hand. Someone had held him down—and done what?

Starsky’s anger surged into his throat. It made him sick. Someone had hurt Hutch. And where was he when whatever it was had happened to his partner? Why didn’t he know about it? He started into the room, his own breath harsh, quickening.

Hutch made a sound deep down in his throat and turned, leaning against the wall. Starsky started, backtracking, but it wasn’t necessary. Hutch’s eyes were closed. His head was thrown back against the wall, hips thrust outward. His hand moved over his cock, the skin sliding beneath his fingers. Starsky heard the slapping sound of flesh on flesh.

The bruises on his hips were fully visible now. They were gruesome.

He shouldn’t be watching this, shouldn’t be aroused by this, but he couldn’t turn away, couldn’t stop himself from getting hard. He flushed, rubbing his aching crotch. He wanted to leave, he wanted to know who’d done this to him, wanted to watch. God he wanted to watch.

 To touch.

Hutch’s movements were faster now, almost frenzied, his breathing ragged and too fast. The water ran over his body, sluiced around his hand and cock. He went rigid, head back, mouth open, slamming his injured shoulder back against the shower wall.

And cried out a name.

Stunned, Starsky watched as his partner slid down the shower wall, a thin pink line following where his shoulder touched. Hutch sat under the spray, sides bellowing in and out. He drew his legs up and wrapped his arms around them, burying his head on his knees.

Starsky couldn’t bear it.

He backed away into the darkness, not looking where he was going, watching Hutch as long as he could, unable to look away, startled when the back of his legs hit the bed. Shaking, he sat down

Goddammit, who’d hurt him that way? Why hadn’t he told him?

Somewhere inside him, the fear started growing.

He shouldn’t have seen any of that. But he had, and now he had to deal with it. He had to deal with all of it, including the fact that he was still achingly hard from watching his partner.

Shame washed over him, and he bent over, giving into it. Beneath the shame was anger, sorrow. Want. And beneath that, something that turned away from it all.

  The sounds coming from the bathroom were normal, benign.  Hutch showering. Washing away the evidence of what had happened. Somehow that made him angry again. Starsky climbed under his covers, not wanting to face Hutch when he came out.

He wanted an explanation, wanted to forget the whole thing, wanted to confront Hutch, comfort Hutch, avoid Hutch.

What was he going to do?

Starsky dropped his face into his hands.

God what had he done?



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