Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Don't Look Back #35 (7.2)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, it must be time for flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers. Every week, we offer an assortment of flash fiction, between 500 and 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

This week, on Don't Look Back, the confusion continues as Marshall and Lee discover they're on You Tube! Wonder what that means? Don't miss this week's chapter! And don't forget to see what the other Briefers have to offer. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!

Don't Look Back #35 (7.2)

“You Tube? What the hell are you talking about?” Marshall asked.

“Boy, what have you been smoking?” Slim demanded to know, and everyone laughed. Everyone except Denver, who pulled out his phone, indignation shining in his eyes.

“I’ll show you what I’m talking about. Hold your horses for just a minute, willya?”

Marshall leaned in to Lee, lowering his voice for his ears alone. “I bet he’s going to pop up with some kind of birthday video or something, and then yell surprise.”

“You never know, that might just be it,” Lee agreed. Marshall caught a hint of something in Lee’s voice, though, something that wasn’t entirely amusement. Before he could ask what was wrong, he heard Denver’s cry of triumph.

“Found it!” He pushed his phone at Marshall. “There it is. Just press play. I turned up the sound already.”

Marshall took the phone, holding it between him and Lee, so they could both watch. He heard the scrape of chairs as the others rose and grouped behind them, everyone’s attention on the phone.
Marshall pressed play, prepared for anything. What he saw was the familiar crowded dance floor of Partners. People were moving back, out of the line of sight of the camera, to a respectful distance from a couple. The camera shifted, focusing on that couple.

Marshall realized with a start that it was indeed him and Lee. They were dancing together, and the crowd was watching appreciatively, shouting encouragements, along with whistles and catcalls. 

Marshall remembered the dance, of course, and the way Lee had bent him over and kissed him long and hard. He even remembered people taking pictures of them. What he hadn’t expected was to end up in a video on You Tube.

“Well, I’ll be damned.” Only after the clip ended did he notice the title given it by whoever had uploaded it: Two hot men and a great kiss at Partners. He felt his cheeks go warm, but he wasn’t exactly displeased about the video. Not like he was embarrassed about his love for Lee, or of having people see them together. Then he looked at the view count. Holy shit. “There’s almost a million views on this thing.” He looked up to find Denver grinning widely at him.

“Oh yeah, you’re quite the sensation. I think they call that going viral. You two are gonna be famous.”

Marshall snorted with laughter, until he caught a glimpse of Lee’s face. Lee wasn’t smiling, and he didn’t look very happy. Come to think of it, neither did Roy.

Marshall pushed the phone into Denver’s hand. “The answer is still no,” he responded to the unspoken question he could read in Denver’s eyes. “Still got plans. It’s our anniversary, you know.”

“I know,” Denver grumbled, pocketing the phone. “Can’t blame a guy for trying.”

Everyone laughed, as they resumed their seats.  Marshall took advantage of the momentary confusion to whisper in Lee’s ear. “Is something wrong?”

Lee didn’t answer immediately, heightening Marshall’s unease. He pulled back enough to look at Lee’s face. “What is it?” he asked.

Lee’s brows drew together before he relaxed his expression and forced a smile. “Probably nothing,” he admitted.

“Afraid I’ll get famous on You Tube and take off for Hollywood?” Marshall joked.

Lee leaned forward and kissed him. “I think I know better than that.”

“I should hope so. You know I was just kidding, right?”

“I know that. Look, we can talk about it later, okay?”

“Okay. Good.” Marshall felt somewhat relieved. They’d talk about it, whatever it was, and Lee would make everything all right, like he always did.

“Hey you two, break it up!” Slim’s voice broke into their moment. Lee slid an arm about Marshall’s shoulders and grinned at their friend.

“What’s the matter, Slim? Tell us how you really feel!”

More laughter. Slim raised a glass of beer. “Kinda hard to make a toast if you’re not paying attention. To Lee and Marshall! Happy anniversary, and happy birthday to Marshall. May you always be happy and together.”

Glasses were lifted around the table, and everyone echoed the sentiment. A short time later, Lee rose, reaching for Marshall’s hand. “Time for us to go,” he said in his no-nonsense way, “but we’ll get together again soon. Agreed?”

They made their good-nights and said their thank yous for a fine evening. Roy left with them, citing the need to work the next day. He accompanied them to their car, leaning against it as Lee unlocked it. A look passed between the two men that Marshall didn’t understand. His unease, which had subsided, began to return.

“Doesn’t have to mean anything,” Roy said.

“Yeah, I know that. But then again, it might.”

“I know.” Roy removed his hat and scratched the side of his head before replacing it. “I’ll get on it soon as I get home, Lee, ‘kay?”

“I appreciate that, Roy.” The two men shook hands before Lee opened the door and motioned Marshall inside. Marshall started to ask a question, but decided against it, and let Lee close the door without comment. Roy headed to his car and Lee slid behind the wheel.

They drove in silence for a few minutes, Lee staring out at the highway, once they left Tucker Falls. Marshall gazed out his side window, but there wasn’t a whole lot to see at this time of night. Finally, he couldn’t wait any longer.

“Want to tell me what’s going on? Something about that video’s got you spooked. What is it?”

Lee took a deep breath, then let it out. “Just don’t like having us out there on the Internet like that.”

Marshall was sure there was more to the story than that. “We advertise on the Internet, that’s how we get a lot of our business. What else is there?”

Lee hesitated. “I just don’t want our past catching up with us, that’s all.”

Suddenly Marshall understood, his stomach knotting. “Oh hell no,” he whispered.

to be continued

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