Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #55 (13.4)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, it must be time for some flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, from 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Marshall and Lee enjoy a little competitive swimming in this week's episode of Moving Forward. Are things looking up with Dustin? Maybe he has turned over a new leaf. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Moving Forward #55 (13.4)

The pool on the Lido Deck was buzzing with activity by the time Marshall and Lee arrived, but there was as much action outside of the water as in. Marshall got the impression that at least some of the men who came here were looking to hook up, and did just that. A lot of flirting going on, as well as kissing and other activities. He noticed that if things looked like they might progress any farther than they should in public, a cruise employee was quick to step in and steer the amorous couple toward more private areas.

Which left plenty of room for them to actually swim in.

By the time Denver and Dustin arrived, Marshall and Lee were in the water, having challenged each other to race the length of the pool. Marshall hadn’t been able to beat Lee, but he’d gotten damn close, which was saying something, ‘cause Lee had some damn powerful strokes, so he didn’t mind losing to him.

“Hey guys, how’s the water?” Denver greeted them.

“Water’s great,” Marshall said. “Come on in!”

“You got a table?”

“Yeah, right over there.” Lee nodded in the direction of an white table underneath an umbrella emblazoned with the cruise logo. They’d left their drinks there, as well as their towels. “You can set your stuff there too, if you like.”

“Much obliged,” Denver said. He handed Dustin what little they’d brought and he didn’t fuss, just put it on the table next to theirs and quickly returned.

“Got room for me in there?” Dustin joked.

“I think there might be a little,” Marshall replied. “Come on in. Just don’t splash.”

Dustin laughed and eased himself into the water, followed by his cousin. “This feels nice,” he said. “I expected it to be colder, but it’s not.”

“Not cold at all,” Marshall agreed. “You any good at swimming?”

“Fair to middling. Want to see?”

“I’ll race you,” Marshall countered. “Length of the pool.”

“What’s the winner get?” Dustin asked.

“Winner takes on Lee,” Marshall smirked. He had every confidence that Lee could beat Dustin handily.

“Is that good with you, Lee?” Dustin looked toward him.

“Fine with me,” Lee said.

“Loser buys drinks?”

“You’re on,” Lee replied without hesitation.

“Not so fast. You have to beat me first,” Marshall reminded him.

“I didn’t forget. I just assumed I’d beat you,” Dustin smirked.

Marshall rolled his eyes. “You remember what happens when you assume, don’t you?”

“Yeah, but don’t worry, I don’t intend to make an ass out of either of us.” Dustin laughed.

“In that case, come on,” Marshall challenged him.

They got Denver to act as starter. He counted down to one and they took off. Marshall reached the end of the pool and was dismayed to see Dustin. The question was which one had gotten there first?

“It was Dustin,” Denver affirmed, “but just by a fraction of a second or so. Damn close call. Good race, guys.”

Marshall wasn’t overly disappointed. Now he could watch Lee take him down. And that would be worth having lost to Dustin to begin with.

“Good race,” Dustin echoed, slapping a wet hand on Marshall’s shoulder. He glanced up at Lee, who swam close to them. “You ready to take me on?”

“Maybe you should rest up after your victory,” Lee teased. “I wouldn’t want anyone to say I took advantage of you.”

“I’m ready to beat you right now,” Dustin bragged. “Denver, want to get us started?”

“If you’re sure,” Denver said.

“I’m sure.”

The two men got into position, and Marshall found a better vantage point to watch from as Denver counted them down and they took off.

Marshall couldn’t help but admire Lee’s physique as his strong body sluiced through the water. Beside him, he thought Dustin looked puny. Of course, he might be a little prejudiced in Lee’s favor. The race was close at first, and Marshall wondered if maybe Dustin had a chance when suddenly Lee surged forward with a greater strength and pulled ahead. He reached the end of the pool, the clear winner. Marshall watched Dustin arrive, too late, and wondered how he’d handle the defeat. For just a moment, his concerns over Dustin resurfaced, knowing he had a temper. But the two men shook hands in what seemed to be an amiable fashion, then swam back to where Marshall and Denver waited.

“Good race,” Marshall said, “but I knew Lee’d win. I didn’t have any doubt about that.”

Lee shook his head, as he caught his breath. “That’s why I bring my own rooting section,” he grinned.

“I hope I didn’t ruin your evening,” Dustin said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Marshall thought.

“How so?” Lee asked.

“Well, didn’t y’all say you were going dancing after this? I hate to think I tuckered you out too much for that. I mean, at your age and all.” His grin belied any sting in his words, and everyone laughed.

“The only thing you need to worry about is paying for that next round. It’s all yours.” Lee’s grin was even bigger than Dustin’s.

“Ouch.” Dustin pretended to be wounded, putting his hand over his heart.

“A drink sounds real good,” Denver said, “especially when he’s paying. Let’s go.”

They all agreed that was a splendid idea, and climbed out of the pool.

to be continued

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