Jordan is safely in custody, so what next? Do Roy and Dustin start the next chapter in their lives or do they go their separate ways? Find out in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's going on with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
The Sheriff #55 (13.3)
They decided to go back later to get Dustin’s stuff. Right now, they had more urgent needs to take care of, now that Jordan was safely out of the way. Hopefully, forever. Now they were going home. Together.
Dustin still couldn’t believe Roy had actually asked him to move in with him. No one had ever done that before, other than his cousin Denver. And that wasn’t comparable, not at all. Things were looking up for Dustin, no doubt about it.
All the way back to Burnham, Dustin caressed Roy’s strong thigh, loving the feel of the lawman’s trousers against his hand and dreaming of feeling him naked on top of him again. Roy’s declaration kept ringing in his ears. “I think I’ve fallen in love with you.” If this was a dream, Dustin never wanted to wake up.
“Sounds like Harlan would like you to join his department,” Roy said. “I think he was really impressed with how you did handling this case. ‘Course, that’d be a long commute, back to Tucker Falls, wouldn’t it?”
“Yeah, it would be,” Dustin agreed. The next moment, his heart plunged. Shit, what had he been thinking? He couldn’t afford such a long commute for any job, much less that shitty one. So how was he going to pay Roy his share of rent and utilities and food? He must have been a fool to think things were finally going to work out for him. Always something, wasn’t there?
He fell silent, and his hand stilled, as he stared glumly out the front windshield, not actually seeing anything of the scenery they passed. He doubted he’d have a job at the computer store either, once they found out about what almost happened, and his part in it. He’d be judged on his association with Jordan, no doubt, and that would be that.
It had been a nice dream while it lasted.
“What’s the matter?” Roy asked.
Dustin swallowed the lump in his throat that threatened to choke him. “Nothing,” he said, although he didn’t sound at all convincing, even to himself.
Roy didn’t reply immediately. They drove a few miles in silence. Then, suddenly, Roy pulled off onto the side of the road, and put the truck into park.
“Something wrong?” Dustin asked. “We got a flat or something?” He hadn’t felt anything or heard anything. Didn’t mean it hadn’t happened.
“You tell me,” Roy said.
Dustin tried to turn away but Roy stopped him. He pressed one hand against Dustin’s cheek, locking eyes with him.
“Look, you’re not committed to moving in with me. If you’ve changed your mind, just say so. I won’t be mad.”
Oh God, why was Roy always so nice to him? “It’s not that, not that at all,” Dustin tried to reassure him. “I do want to live with you, I swear it.”
“But I doubt I have a job any more. Plus like you said, that’s a long commute. And if I’m not working, how can I pay my share of the bills?” He didn’t want to leech off of Roy, he wanted to be equal with him, as much as he could. It wouldn’t be fair to expect Roy to support him.
“What about going to work for Harlan? That has to pay better than the computer store,” Roy suggested.
Dustin wasn’t sure how to reply to that, but finally decided that he needed to be honest with Roy in all things. “I’d rather work with you,” he blurted out.
Roy began to smile, although Dustin had no idea why he should look so happy.
“Did you forget what the mayor said about me getting a deputy? I was kind of hoping that would be you. It would only be part time at first, but it’s a start. I just thought you’d rather work in Tucker Falls. It’s a bigger department and all.”
“I don’t care, I’d rather be your part time deputy than his full time,” Dustin said sincerely. “I just don’t think that’ll be good enough to carry my weight with bills and such…”
“Don’t you worry about that,” Roy said. “I told you. I’m not looking for a roommate. I want us to live together. There’s a difference. We’ll figure out the bills. What’s important is being together, spending time together. That’s selfishness on my part. If you aren’t working an hour away, then we’ll see each other more often. Especially if you’re working with me. What do you think?”
“I think you’re an amazing man, is what I think. If it’s okay with your mayor, I’d love to be your deputy.”
Roy kissed him softly. “Then that’s what we’ll do,” he said. He started the truck once more and got back on the highway.
to be continued
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