Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #29 (8.2)

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

Last week, as you'll recall, Roy drove Dustin to the sheriff's office in Tucker Falls for a meeting with Sheriff Harlan Sinclair. Harlan thinks Jordan might be the burglar he's been looking for. Dustin is going to go along with him and find out what his plans are, so they can catch him. Watch Roy and Dustin fight their mutual attraction in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to. Their links follow my tale!

The Sheriff #29 (8.2)

Roy was glad he didn’t drive a marked police car. He had a sedan he used for police business, and flashing lights he could throw onto the dashboard if he needed them. Most of the time, he drove a pickup in and around Burnham.

That would make keeping an eye on Dustin that much easier. But first he’d have to get out of this uniform, which was a dead giveaway.

They left Harlan’s office with assurances they’d keep him in the loop, and would report back to him as soon as they learned something.

Roy glanced at his watch. “Shit. I don’t think I can drive to Burnham and back before that asshole gets here.”

“Does that matter?” Dustin sounded concerned.

“I just don’t want him to see me in uniform, might spook him.”

“We can find you something at my place,” Dustin said. He sounded more sure of the fact than Roy did. “Maybe something of Denver’s.”

That would have to do, Roy supposed. At least temporarily.

They returned to the apartment Dustin shared with Denver, and Dustin found some of his cousin’s clothes that looked to be on the large side. Either that or someone had left them there.

“You can use my room to change,” Dustin offered. He opened the door and waved Roy inside, standing in the doorway once Roy passed through.

Roy quickly undressed, his back to Dustin. Time was pressing now. He wanted to be out of sight and in position before that Jordan character showed up to pick up Dustin. Lost in his own thoughts, he was startled when Dustin asked, a note of worry in his voice, “Do you think I’m in trouble?”

Roy finished zipping up the pair of slacks he’d borrowed, and turned toward Dustin. “Trouble?”

“Yeah. For what I did last night. You know, breaking and entering? Robbing someone’s house.”

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem,” Roy assured him.

“Why not? It’s illegal, right? Last time I checked, stupidity isn’t considered a good reason to do something illegal.”

Roy refrained from chuckling at such logic. He could understand Dustin’s concern, especially given his history of bone-headed moves. He slipped a T-shirt over his head. It clung a little more than he would have liked, but that couldn’t be helped.

“I don’t think you’ll have anything to worry about,” he tried to reassure him. “Not from Harlan. Especially since you’re helping him crack this case that’s had him going a little nuts lately. He’ll be thanking you, not putting you behind bars.”

“You really think so?” Dustin didn’t sound convinced, his tone bordering somewhere around melancholic. Roy had almost forgotten what it was like to be young and full of self-doubt, riding an emotional roller coaster, no doubt hormone-driven.  Multiply that by ten, and that was an accurate description of Dustin.

“Stop that,” Roy said automatically, watching Dustin begin to shred his fingertips again. Without thinking he reached for Dustin’s hands and stilled them with his own. “I’ll talk to Harlan personally, and make sure you aren’t in any trouble. Hell, maybe after all of this, he might offer you that position you were wanting. Assuming you still want to go into law enforcement.”

Dustin’s jaw dropped, as if he couldn’t believe Roy had remembered that. His hazel eyes were wide and bright… and just for a second, Roy thought he saw something in them, something that drew him. When he caught himself swaying toward Dustin, he pulled back quickly, jerking his hands from Dustin’s.

“Gotta finish dressing,” he mumbled. Taking a seat at the end of the bed, he reached for his shoes, where he’d left them on the floor, and put them on quickly. Once he was done, he stood, brushed imaginary lint from his pants, and reached for his hat, which sat behind him.

“I’m going to get my car. You just do what you need to do. I’ve got you covered.” He nodded at Dustin, before hightailing it out of the apartment as quick as he could. His heart was beating a mile a minute, and he wished to God he had something to drink, ‘cause he sure as hell didn’t know what was going on. But whatever it was, it had to stop. Now.

to be continued

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