In last week's chapter of The Sheriff, Roy received a surprise from the mayor of Burnham, when he offered to give Roy a real sheriff's office. Will Roy have a surprise for Dustin this week? Find out in this week's The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
The Sheriff #39 (10.2)
Was he dreaming or did Melvyn just offer him an actual office? Roy found himself at a loss for words, something he wasn’t accustomed to. Which is probably what made the mayor start laughing.
“Took you by surprise, did I, Roy?”
“Well, yeah.” Roy found his tongue at last. “I never expected to hear those words, to be honest.”
“Between you and me, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen, either. Burnham’s a small town. We don’t exactly have a large tax base or anything. Not like Tucker Falls. But we do okay for ourselves.”
“I was grateful you even gave me a job,” Roy said. “I just didn’t think the town could afford anything too permanent.”
“Thanks to Pete, now we can. Roy, I don’t think we say this often enough, but we really appreciate having you around.” Melvyn glanced toward Dustin. “This man has single-handedly made Burnham a safe and secure place to live.”
“Damn, Melvin, you’re gonna turn my head, talking like that.” Roy laughed, self-consciously.
“I’m not saying anything that isn’t true. Before you came along, people treated this town with disrespect, like we were nothing but a bunch of country bumpkins. You made them sit up and take notice, and you let them know we wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior here.”
“He’s the kind of lawman I’d like to be someday,” Dustin blurted out.
“He’s a heck of a role model. You know what, maybe it’s time you got yourself a deputy. Part time, at least for now. Let me run over the budget and get back to you, okay? Right now, all the paperwork’s going through having to do with Pete’s place. In the meantime, maybe you can go over there and kind of figure out what needs to be done to turn it into an office. I know Pete kept it in good shape. I’m not sure if we can outfit it with an actual jail cell, at least not right away, but we still have Tucker Falls for that.”
“True. It’s not like we get many of those anyway. Most people just get tickets and go on their way.”
“Amen to that,” Melvyn said. “Well, I won’t keep you. I just had to deliver the good news in person.”
“I appreciate that,” Roy said.
The mayor turned to Dustin. “It was nice meeting you, see you again.”
“Thank you, Mr.—I mean Melvin,” Dustin hastily amended. He reached out a hand, and the mayor shook it then headed out the door, leaving Roy and Dustin alone once more.
“Well, I’ll be damned, Roy said softly. He headed toward the kitchen, Dustin trailing him. “Never thought I’d hear those words.”
“You’re happy about it, aren’t you?” Dustin asked.
“Hell yeah.” He reached into a cabinet, drew out a can of coffee. “Been living here for more than eight years. I was hoping I could put down roots here, make this permanent.”
“I can understand that,” Dustin said softly.
Roy turned toward him. Dustin looked so damn vulnerable, so…. attractive? Roy had to fight the urge to grab him and hug him. He wasn’t entirely sure he had altruistic motives for that hug. His libido was extremely confused. “Want some coffee?” he asked. “Then we can take a ride over to Pete’s place and see what we can see.”
“Coffee sounds good, yeah.” Dustin nodded. “So does going over there. You think the mayor was serious about you getting a deputy?”
“He wouldn’t have said it if he didn’t mean it. Is that something you’d be interested in?”
Dustin’s face lit up, like someone had just given him the best gift ever. His blue eyes shone, and his smile was almost blinding. But then his face fell, and the smile was gone. “You’re being nice, Roy, but with all this trouble I’m in, I don’t see that happening.”
“We’re getting you out of that trouble,” Roy reminded him. “Tomorrow night. I thought you were interested in law enforcement? At least that’s what you said.” He took a step toward Dustin, his eyes trained directly on the younger man’s.
“I do, I absolutely do,” Dustin said. “But things never work out for guys like me. I’d hate to see you get hurt because of something I did. I’m a born fuck-up—“
Acting on pure instinct, Roy stemmed the damning words the only way he knew how. He pressed their lips together , even as he slid one hand to the back of Dustin’s head and held onto him for dear life.
to be continued
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