Ok-- I can't stand it any more-- I'm just gonna start posting this:

(This story is a completed work. But, I'll be posting it in chapters, as I do need to make some final corrections here and there.)

Disclaimer:

Got it-- they don't belong to me—unfortunately. And, of course, I'm not making any money by telling these stories about them.

Thank Yous & Much Gratitude to:Kate & Robbin Laffoon for showing me where all the sinkholes and unbelievable plot threads were—told me I should fix them—so I did—or tried to anyway.

Robbin L. aka Midwife— She was the first to hear baby Sonora was coming and she made sure I got the right nutrition to carry her the whole nine (really more like 13 months of writing). Gave me spiritual support, inspiration, and encouragement. Coached me to keep on pushing…

Kate aka- Teacher(Sensei) & mother of many, many stories let me peek in the writer's secret book of rules and showed me how to write life into my baby, how to add flesh, breath & heart… Her gentle guidance taught me how to get the formula just right-- so baby could grow strong bones.

Donna Engle aka Nanny(Caretaker)- Specially trained to care for my baby. Her beta skills taught Sonora the proper social etiquette— expounded the importance of correct punctuation, and how to wear her commas, hyphens just so… And for showing me grace and giving me so much of her time.

-To some, the comparison to the precious act of giving birth may seem silly. I can only tell you how I feel ---- so you guys treat my baby right now.

-Look I'm not saying you can't offer her some guidance, or direction …wise words about what it's like to be in the world. She's strong enough to handle all the feedback—good or bad… But just remember lots of love made her and lots of love will keep her.

Thanks for reading.

-Any typos or other nonsense are all my doing-

-ooooooo-

Sonora

(A Starsky and Hutch Tale)

By

Trish P. Kennedy

-oooooo-

Prologue

He was in his usual place- watching over the man in the bed just like all the other nights before. Waiting for the fitfully sleeping man to force his eyes open from one of the many nightmares that constantly persisted-never leaving him alone.

Starsky sat patiently, worried about the moment Hutch would be able to wake himself up- -once again afraid and disoriented. He waited through the tossing and turning, the mumbled words…beads of sweat shimmering in the golden wisps of hair plastered as a frame around Hutch's face in the brightly-lit room.

Starsky picked up his friend's hand. When it was like this, Starsky found he was not able to stir, shake, or talk him into wakefulness. So he waited.

The dutiful friend also watched the little white clock on the dresser. It was 2 a.m. and Hutch had fallen asleep around 10 p.m. The nightmare cycle usually started around 12:30 a.m. and Starsky would take his regular position in the chair next to the bed.

Waiting, watching, and guarding.

He looked down to find the restless man's eyes were open. No words were exchanged. Trying to calm his breathing, Hutch made a frustrated sad moan. Starsky knew his best friend was trying to reconcile, once again, why he was waking up as the victim- feeling guilty about letting it happen again. An illogical conclusion in Starsky's opinion, but he had not been able to convince Hutch of that.

"Which one was it?" Starsky asked.

Hutch squeezed his eyes shut, a hiss of tension escaped from him as he tried to stop the quickening of the breaths that threatened to make him lose control of the volcanic emotions fueling them.

"Does it matter?" Hutch managed to say weakly, pulling Starsky's hand to his chest as if it were armor to protect him.

"It's all right," Starsky whispered, thinking his own haggard appearance might not add credence to the hollow words. He wondered how realistic the statement was --he hadn't had any real sleep in days.

Tears welled in Hutch's eyes as he struggled to speak. Suspended by his friend's haunted expression, Starsky was determined to reassure him he'd do everything in his power to protect him.

"SSShh. S'okay. I'm right here. Nobody knows where we are. Not Dobey. Not Huggy. Not…not anybody."

Even though they were said with conviction, Starsky got little comfort from his own words. He was sure that some day she would be back.

He was certain of it.

Coming back to get what Starsky had taken from her.

-oooooooo-

The Couple

"You must be cold out here," she said as she tucked a blanket around her husband. Fitting herself into his lap, she wrapped her arms around him, asking, "Another headache?"

He looked down at her and gave a weak smile. "Better now."

Putting a hand to his temple, she started a gentle massage. "Close your eyes. I'll bring you a pill in a few minutes and you can rest out here until dinner. I think the fresh air will do you good."

"Hmmm," he agreed tiredly. "You take such good care me. How could one man be so lucky?" He gave her a long loving stare and kissed her softly on her forehead. Resting his head on her cheek, he whispered in her ear, "I love you, Sonora. Don't know what I would do…"

"Shhh," putting a finger to his lips, she said, "You'll never have to worry about that. This is forever, isn't it, Ken?"

-ooooooo-

The Story

Beautiful but deadly. Words both law enforcement and the criminally minded used to describe her.

Watching Hutch's body jerk violently beneath the currents of electricity she pumped into him was making Starsky wish he had paid more attention to the last part of that description

The question posed by many had been answered. Yes, Daddy's little girl was going to be a success as heir to the empire built on bodies of the slaughtered by her international mob boss father.

She was qualified. More than capable to champion the fight of the dark criminal underworld against anything that stood in her way. Right now that anything was two cops from Bay City.

It wasn't that she really wanted the name of the snitch she believed was in Starsky's and Hutch's possession. The person, recruited to help bring down her evil empire had served up family secrets--- had laid bare enough information to get two undercover cops this close to her.

Starsky knew that whoever that person was- they were probably already on the bottom of several oceans, in different continents.

She was the beautiful Sonora Latrielle. The long black curls bounced as she moved back and forth in front of Hutch. She was deadly and she had them cold. Their hostess had slipped a little something extra into the goblets of wine she served to the two cops who had unfortunately accepted the invitation to attend a party at her palatial home. Drugging them both, she made the officers the two newest residents of her in-home torture chamber. Her huge ethereal, dark brown eyes peeking through lush black eyelashes and the natural healthy glow of her olive-toned skin seemed completely out of place in the dank room that had kept him and Hutch captive for the last 16 hours.

Sonora Latrielle was petite. Voluptuous curves, pleasing to a man's imagination, kindled a supernatural power in her that seemingly burned up the oxygen in a room. It was the reason why men's tongues got twisted when she stood close by. They became light headed, intoxicated by her very presence. And she knew it. She was dangerous.

Most women, sensing her noxious nature, stayed clear of the man-eating vixen.

Her allure was long lost on Starsky. All he could see of her was her cruelty and the heartless pleasure she got out of the impossible challenge that was killing Hutch.

They had walked into a trap. When you're a cop, part of you, in doing this kind of work, has to recognize that someday something goes down you don't walk away from. Someone could put a bullet in the back of your head- and no one would ever find out what happened to you.

Many a bad guy treated that end of the road moment for the good guy with a peculiar kind of honor.

Take 'em out and shoot them, dump their bodies. A quick death.

But, Sonora wanted to play a bizarre game, eliciting some kind of strange enjoyment out of it.

Starsky thought back to last night and the odd feeling that gnawed at him as they'd driven up the long driveway to the Latrielle estate and to the old fashioned castle that looked ominously back at them.

Under different circumstances, Starsky could have found the old castle fascinating… but last night it brought up a dull fear in him.

Hutch must have picked up on his friend's uneasiness, taking a hand off the steering wheel, he'd punched Starsky, lightly joking.

"Looks like Dr. Frankenstein's, huh."

Starsky swallowed hard thinking back to Sonora's massive bodyguard nicknamed "The Monster." The man was 350 pounds of muscle, nearly 7 ft. Starsky thought the Frankenstein of Hutch's attempted joke was a reality. He didn't want to have to tangle with the man.

"Hutch, somethin' don't feel right."

"That's why we gotta be on point, partner. They don't know who they're messing with. Right?" Hutch said with a warm smile meant to ease Starsky's concern.

"Yeah," Starsky said, letting his hand rest on his holstered gun. "I'm with ya."

The décor inside the huge, nearly century old fortress almost made Starsky relax completely. Beautiful bright earth colors, modern furniture, lots of greenery and fresh flowers celebrating life gave the huge hardwooded rooms warmth.

There were about thirty other people milling around chatting excitedly and bluesy jazz music helped to contribute to the nice energy in the room.

Hutch felt a hand on his arm and he turned to find Sonora Latrielle standing beside him. The petite woman who had invited them to the small get-together at her home smiled up at him generously.

Ms. Latrielle, Hutch thought, was definitely a looker. Beautiful and hiding secrets behind the almost black beguiling eyes that could do some damage to a guy's heart if he wasn't careful.

But Hutch already knew all about the criminal universe she cloaked behind the life of a self-absorbed socialite. It was a good disguise for the daughter of an underworld crime boss who had followed in her father's footsteps. It was all an act. All of it, except for the self-absorbed part. That was all Sonora, Hutch deduced, looking down at the spirited woman he found standing in his personal space.

"Hello," she said, sending him a piercing stare.

Hutch responded with penetrating inspection.

It was Starsky echoing, "Hello," that broke up the staring contest between them.

Ignoring Starsky, Sonora said to his companion, "I'm so glad you made it."

"Well, wasn't that hard to find actually. It's the only castle in town. Right?"

"Right," she confirmed, smiling at him and allowing an uncomfortable silence as she studied him. "You know, I just can't get over the feeling that maybe you know me? Have we met before this evening?"

Playing along, Hutch answered, "I think we both would have remembered that, don't you?"

Starsky started to roll his eyes but stopped himself just as Sonora looked at him.

Finally, acknowledging Starsky she said to him, "I like your friend. Maybe you've noticed."

"I would have to be blind not to," Starsky smirked.

"Can you just give us a few minutes flirting time? Plenty of food," she said to Starsky as she pointed a hand toward the grand buffet a few yards away.

"Sure. It's… ahh…quite a spread." Giving Hutch a mischievous look, he sauntered away.

Hutch winced and looked back to her.

"I'm sorry," he apologized for Starsky's risqué comment.

"I'd love to get some air. You?" Sonora suggested, leading him out toward the terrace before he could answer.

Hutch felt uncomfortable. He didn't like separating himself from Starsky so soon. They weren't sure how the Latrielle organization worked yet. What did Sonora want from them? Was it safe? What kind of game was she playing and why was she bringing them in so close so quickly?

Hutch looked back into the large room they had just left expecting to see Starsky in full pig-out mode but instead was surprised to find his partner cautiously eyeing them.

"You and your friend seem a little out of place. Here, it's either old money or new. Don't believe you two fall into either one of those categories," Sonora said.

Hutch let Starsky's cautious watching go as he turned to answer her.

"No. I'm just a man looking for the right opportunity," he countered, giving her an easy palms up gesture. "You could say I'm hoping to make the right connections."

The curious timing of a hauntingly romantic song seeping from the speakers above them, an old Van Morrison tune, permeated the air. The singer's mournful lament of love lost and found created a dramatic backdrop, generating amused glances between them.

"Oh, I'm definitely interested in making a connection." She shortened the distance between them, resting her hand on his chest as she moved in closer. She breathed him in deeply and sighed sensually. "I really do believe we've met before. Maybe…New Orleans?"

Gently lifting her hand away, he held it in his. "No, unfortunately, don't think so," he said as he let her hand drop. "Hmmm." then adding a little vibrato to highlight his voice, making sure she knew he was turning her down. "I think I'd like to take a turn at some of the other delicacies you've got…in there," nodding to the buffet table.

He slipped an arm around her waist and attempted to lead her back inside.

She stopped their movement.

Hutch could see angry lines forming on her forehead.

"Give me a kiss first," she demanded.

"What?" Hutch answered in surprise.

"It's only fair. You accepted my invitation to come out here. You knew my intention. I promise I won't bite," she purred.

"I…" Hutch stammered.

She put an arm around his neck and pulled his head down. It was a standoff as Hutch hesitated. She closed her eyes and lifted her lips to him.

Gliding both her arms up his back, she gently urged him forward.

Hutch wanted to release himself and push pass her. He knew this was some type of power play but didn't know enough about her to figure out what next move would give him the best advantage. She was bewitching and it would have been easy enough to let her kiss him or to lift her up in his arms, taking full advantage of the situation, and maybe curl her toes in the process.

But Sonora wasn't just a spoiled brat, she was a very dangerous woman, who he needed to get to quickly. Realizing, at that instant, the best way to get under her skin, he eased out of her arms.

He picked up his sentence again. "I-I really should get back to my friend. He's not that sociable." He left her there and reentered the party.

Leaving Sonora alone on the balcony got the exact result Hutch was going for.

She was livid.

Who did he think he was embarrassing her in front of her guests she thought? He had to be aware people were watching. Abandoning her out there alone like that was going to get tongues wagging with all kinds of gossip. Her advances obviously rejected. This was outrageous! He had no right coming into her home and trying to make a fool out of her in front of her friends, people who respected her…who were afraid of her.

"M!" Using her nickname for the "The Monster," she called out to the massive bodyguard who was hiding nearby on the overgrown terrace.

"Miss?"

"Let's do it tonight," she said acrimoniously.

"I'm not sure…" M protested.

Cutting off his excuse, "Tonight!" she said emphatically as she turned her back to him to look into the room, watching the man who had rejected her advances through the window.

"You shouldn't have done that, Detective Hutchinson," she said to herself. "You're going to be very sorry."

It was a long and pathetic story why she didn't like cops.

The story had something to do with why she now was an only child and the abbreviated life of a rebellious sister dating a tall blond cop to get under a father's skin.

A sister, who ended up married to the cop, and spent years on the receiving end of his abusive fist until committing suicide on the night of their fifth wedding anniversary.

It was at that time that the husband, who had been hiding from the wrath of Zak Latrielle behind her sister's skirts, disappeared from the face of the earth. Sonora always dreamed- prayed- that her father was the source of Matty Tremaine's vanishing act.

Matty, handsome, tall, blonde and All-American had courted her six years older sibling with flowers and sweet talk. All lies.

Her sister, Celina, named for their paternal grandmother, had been dead for years, but Sonora's violent fantasies of revenge stayed with her into adulthood.

Sonora had kept the secret, for years watching the abuse steal beauty and youth from the person Sonora loved more than anyone in the world.

She watched after each beating how Celina would try to cover and conceal with makeup the evidence of her private hell.

She learned to hate the husband who put on a loving act in front of others as he terrorized Celina behind closed doors. The younger woman also learned a lot about men, and about cops. The good guys… bull!

Sonora wasn't naïve about relationships, men, and macho obsession. Something in her wanted to believe there was a knight in shining armor for every woman. Her sister'slife had taught her criminal or cop… there wasn't any man good enough to let down her defenses for. She would never, ever allow a man to have any power over her.

Strike first, strike hard was her mantra.

Viewing Detective Sergeant Kenneth Hutchinson through squinted eyes of disdain, he very much reminded her of her sister's abusive cop husband.

Sonora hated cops. She could easily hate this one, too.

Maybe it was time to play out some of those vengeful fantasies she entertained as a teenage girl, her tears soaking her pillow.

Hutchinson, trying to infiltrate her organization, was completely unaware that she knew who he was. A cop.

Boy, was he going to be in for a surprise.

-oooooo-

Starsky shouldered him as they walked around the table, filling their plates with food.

"Hope you know what you're doing," Starsky whispered to him. "She looks really mad."

"Well, I know I got her attention. That's gotta help accelerate this whole thing. I'm ready to get this show on the road. Gettin' a little homesick already. Aren't you?"

"Absolutely. Like they say, partner, no place like home."

(tbc)