As you'll recall, last week we finished Marshall and Lee's story, but don't worry, they're still around. This week the story continues from a different perspective as we get to know Sheriff Roy Landry a little better. I've given the story a working title of The Sheriff for now, but that's subject to change. I hope you enjoy my new tale. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!
The Sheriff #1
To Lee and Marshall.
Roy Landry raised his bottle of beer in a silent toast to the two men—his two best friends—who had just departed the wedding reception being held for them in Roy’s home. But that was traditional, wasn’t it? The newlyweds were always the first to leave. At least that was the case in Roy’s experience, and he’d been to a few weddings over the years.
He was beyond happy for the newlyweds, and he envied Marshall and Lee and what they had. He’d never met such a loving, devoted couple in his entire life. And he’d never seen two people fight so hard to be together. Maybe their relationship was unorthodox in the eyes of the rest of the world, but to him they were perfect for one another. And he was happy to have become a part of their lives, even if the circumstances of their meeting were less than stellar. And proud to have been instrumental in their reunion after a horrific five year separation.
Hopefully, they’d have nothing but smooth sailing ahead of them, to make up for some of that unwarranted turbulence. And hopefully Lee’s ex would never show her face in Burnham again. After her last reception, Roy rather doubted she would.
“So you’re a minister, are you?”
A voice broke into his thoughts, drawing Roy back to the present. Dustin stood beside him, long neck in hand. Dustin’s cousin Denver was a friend of theirs, part of a small group that liked to hang out at a place called Partners, in nearby Tucker Falls. Dustin had helped Marshall out of a difficult situation at Partners—got him away from a pushy jackass who didn’t know how to accept no for an answer and was willing to inflict pain to get his point across. Roy was grateful to Dustin for that. But according to Marshall and Lee, he had the ability to be a real pain in the ass, too, and Lee’d had to put him in his place more than once.
Knowing Lee, Dustin should consider himself lucky he only got a talking-to.
All in all, Roy trusted the boy about as far as he could throw him.
“Something like that,” Roy replied evasively. He didn’t think it was any of Dustin’s business one way or another. No, the ceremony he’d performed wasn’t legal, but there was no way anyone would allow that for Marshall and Lee, so Roy had done the best he could, and none the wiser who didn’t already know the truth. Which didn’t include Dustin, or even Denver. Theirs was not a secret to be told lightly, and Roy would never betray their faith in him by telling anyone what he knew.
“Did you do it over the Internet?” Dustin persisted. He was tall and blond, with hazel eyes and a cleft in his chin that some might consider attractive. He wasn’t a bad looking kid. Just not Roy’s type.
Roy wasn’t sure what his type was, but he liked his dates to be a little more… mature. And female. Not that he had anything against gay men, he just didn’t happen to be one.
“Some people do,” Roy said vaguely. “You thinking about becoming a man of the cloth?”
Dustin snorted. “Yeah, right. I don’t exactly see that happening any time soon. I think that would be more Denver’s style than mine.”
“What’s more my style?” Speak of the devil, there was Denver now. His cheeks were flushed, his eyes slightly glazed. Looked like he was having a great time.
“Your cousin seems to think you might be interested in being a priest,” Roy joked.
Denver glanced at Dustin and shook his head. “You better hope not. If I go into a convent, you’re out of a place to live.”
That produced an unexpected giggle from Dustin. “You getting a sex change operation, Den?
Convents are for nuns.”
Denver shrugged, letting the words roll off his back. “Whatever. I’m just saying you’d better watch yourself. You remember our deal.”
As Roy watched, the young man’s face flushed almost angrily, and for a moment, Roy thought he was going to say something possibly inappropriate. But the moment passed, and Dustin didn’t say anything. Roy watched the rise and fall of his well-built chest as he calmed himself.
“Yeah, I remember,” he said at last.
“Good. I’m going to get another beer, want one?” The question was aimed at both Dustin and Roy.
“I’m good,” Roy said, and Dustin echoed the sentiment. Denver gave his cousin a final look before heading toward the kitchen, where the coolers were.
A moment of awkward silence sat between them.
“So I hear you’re going to work with Denver at the computer store?” Roy ventured after a couple of minutes.
“Yeah, for now.” Dustin shrugged. “Not exactly the job of my dreams, though.”
“What would that be?” Roy asked in spite of himself. He was tempted to walk away from the conversation, but it was his house, so how far could he really go?
“I’d like to do what you do. Law enforcement,” came the surprise answer.
The words caught Roy off guard. He froze, bottle of beer halfway to his lips. “You would?” He couldn’t think of any better response off the top of his head.
“Yeah. Need a deputy?” Dustin asked hopefully.
“Nope,” Roy said with what he hoped was a note of finality. “If you’ll excuse me, I should mingle a little.” He turned and walked off, not waiting for a response.
Like that would happen. Yeah, right. When Hell froze over.
to be continued
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