In Don't Look Back, the drama continues, as Lee, Marshall, and Roy discuss the situation, and speculate what Rhonda might do. Will they have to disrupt their lives again because of her? Find out in this week's episode! And don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!
Don't Look Back #43 (8.4)
The half-made breakfast plans were shelved. No one was in the mood to go to Milly’s now. They loaded the gear in the back of the truck and headed home instead. Once they’d unpacked, Roy volunteered to make coffee, so Marshall and Lee headed into the family room. They sat together on the couch. Lee held Marshall’s hand tightly, and Marshall welcomed the firm grip, afraid if Lee let go, he’d fall apart.
Marshall was already struggling to hold himself together as it was. Every fear he’d ever had was attempting to manifest itself. They were all connected, in some way, with the loss of Lee. But he was damned if he was going to ever cry because of her again.
Once the coffee was done, and everyone had a steaming mug, Roy took a seat in Lee’s recliner, facing them, his hat in his lap. “Do you think she’s after money, Lee?”
“I’m sure she is. I don’t know what else it could be.”
Roy nodded. “I got the impression she was leading up to blackmail, yeah. Maybe she was hoping to get some money out of both of you, what with Marshall being a grown man and all. And your business doing so good. I don’t really think it has to do with anything else, except maybe a little jealousy. “
“If she’s jealous, that’s her problem,” Marshall said. “She threw away what she had. She didn’t want us, so she left us.”
“What’s the worst she can do?” Lee tightened his hold on Marshall, his words for Roy. “Can they arrest us?”
“Maybe.” Roy’s voice was filled with doubt. “But I honestly don’t think they would. It’s not like Marshall’s a minor or anything. I just don’t see anyone wanting to get involved. And they’d be bound to come through me first, anyway. This is my jurisdiction.”
“But…” Lee persisted, and Marshall knew there was more to it than just the legal repercussions. “But there might be more to it than that, right?”
“Could be. You’re right.” Roy frowned, as if such an admission was painful to him. “Let me do some digging around. I still have plenty of connections. I can put some feelers out to the attorney general’s office. And I’ll see what she’s been up to since… since Fargo. Maybe that’ll give us some kind of clue to what she intends to do now. I’ll see what I can find out about her new husband. I got the plate number of their trailer before they skedaddled, so there must be a paper trail somewhere.”
“Thanks, Roy. I don’t know what we’d do without you.”
“Lee, no need to thank me. You know I’d do anything for you and Marshall. Anytime.” He cleared his throat, plucking at the hat in his hands before placing it on his head and rising. “I’m going to start on that. I’ll call you when I know something.”
“I appreciate that.” Lee started to rise, but Marshall tensed, and Roy waved him down.
“ You’re a good friend, Roy, best there is. If you need me to do anything, let me know.”
“I will, I guarantee.” Roy nodded, then turned to Marshall. “Don’t worry, it’ll be all right. We saved you from her once, she can’t take you away again. Ever.”
Marshall hoped like hell he was right.
Roy left and Marshall leaned back against the cushion, his mind racing. He sipped at his coffee, letting the warmth steal through him. Visions of having to leave Burnham filled his head. He liked it here. Liked the people, and their house, and the life they’d built here. He sure didn’t want to leave, but if it came to a choice between staying here and losing Lee or moving somewhere else, that was just a no-brainer.
Lee leaned toward him, and Marshall set his cup down, searching Lee’s eyes. For what he didn’t know. When Lee held out his arms, Marshall leaned against him, and breathed in Lee’s scent. “We’ll do whatever we need to do.” Lee echoed Marshall’s thoughts. “As long as we’re together, that’s what counts.”
“You don’t want to leave Burnham, do you?” Marshall’s voice sounded muffled against Lee’s chest.
“No, and if we don’t have to, we won’t. But I won’t lose you again. I can’t. And I refuse to let you suffer for something that is not wrong. We’re not wrong, I don’t care what anyone says. It’s time the law butted out of people’s bedrooms, once they’re old enough to know what they’re doing.”
Suddenly, Marshall was grateful Lee had insisted they wait until he turned eighteen. No one could accuse Lee of committing statutory rape, anyway.
“I suspect she’ll be back, since she never got to finish what she had to say. When she does, I’ll talk to her, you don’t have to.”
“We can talk to her together.” Marshall drew back far enough to look into Lee’s eyes. “You and me, together. Okay?”
Lee hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “Okay,” he agreed. “Together. Always.” Marshall drew comfort from his words, and the love in his eyes. “There’s nothing she can do to separate us, and the sooner she realizes that the better.”
They decided not to let her throw a monkey wrench into their lives, and to continue as before, which meant they had work to do. Lee insisted they eat something first, even if it was only toast. But that developed into eggs and bacon too, before they finally ended up in their work room and got busy.
That night, they lay together in their bed after making love, their warm bodies pressed against one another, as they relaxed into sleep. Marshall wasn’t sleepy, though, and his mind kept going back to how things were before, when he and Lee were just father and son, not lovers. Remembering how everything had changed between them, how he’d begun to look at Lee as a man, not a father.
to be continued
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