Friday, October 13, 2017

Guest Blogger: Cheryl Headford

Please welcome my dear friend and fellow author, Cheryl Headford, who is here to tell us about her new release, Shade's Champion!

Author Name: Cheryl Headford

Book Length 214 Pages

Book Name: Shade’s Champion

Release Date: 15th September 2017


Sixteen-year-old Shade has spent years imprisoned in a dark cellar after being snatched off the street as a young child. Events since his release have left him traumatised and desperate to die.

Dory is a lively and engaging seventeen-year-old with mental health issues that make him a slave to his dangerously uncontrollable emotions.

When Shade comes to the secure children's home, Eastbrook, because no one else wants him, the manager appoints Dory as his champion, an appointment Dory takes very seriously indeed.

As friendship turns into something else, something new and exciting, they struggle to find their feet, but every step leads to more complication.

When a spiteful act separates them, it seems their love is doomed before it ever had a chance, but when Dory falls ill, it's up to Shade to pick up the standard and become his champion, although it might already be too late.

Meet The Author 



Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and menagerie of three cats, a dog and a dragon. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close.

Immersed, as always, in the world of fantasy, she maintains a burning desire to share the stories and these days it’s in the form of books which all contain her spark and unique view on life, the universe and everything.

While Richard was talking to Stacey, Emily had sidled up to Shade. She patted his arm, and he looked down at her, a puzzled expression on his face. As Richard glanced up, Shade smiled. It was a different kind of smile than he’d given to Richard. It was sweet and innocent. It took Richard completely by surprise and threw him off balance.

“You’re pretty. Will you kiss me?” Emily said.

Before Richard could open his mouth, Shade shook his head. “You’re a baby. Don’t ask.” Shade’s voice was something of a shock. Firstly, because for some reason Richard hadn’t imagined for a moment he’d speak, and secondly, because it was just like the rest of him—soft, sweet, and blurred.

“I am not a baby. How dare you! Did you hear what he called me, Stace? A baby!”

“You wanna watch what you say, pretty boy,” Stacey said, oozing attitude. “You’re not going to make many friends around here if you go around saying things like that.”

“Stacey, I said that’s enough. Scoot.”


“Scoot. Remember, Shade’s new here. He doesn’t know anyone, and he doesn’t know the rules. I’m trusting you, all of you, to make him feel welcome.”

“Oh, I’m sure the boys will make him feel very...welcome.”

With a glare at Shade, the two girls turned and raced away. Shade seemed utterly confused.

“Don’t worry about them. They can be a nightmare, but they’re basically good kids. Just be careful. They’re... They can be a bit too friendly at times.”

Shade frowned, looking even more confused, if that were possible.


Sales Links

 Where to Find The Author 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #33 (9.2)

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.

Roy seems to be feeling rather protective of Dustin. Why else would he come into the computer store when he was supposed to be watching from outside? Will his actions cause a problem? Find out 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! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #33 (9.2)

“What was that all about?” Jordan whispered angrily in Dustin’s ear. He’d looped an arm about Dustin’s waist and gripped him tightly, as if he thought Dustin might try to wriggle away.

Which he certainly would, if he could.

Still pumped over seeing Roy so unexpectedly, Dustin pushed off from Jordan and took a step back, putting a slight distance between them, but keeping out of Denver’s sight. He didn’t want to his cousin to come any closer to Jordan than he could help. Bad enough he was in Jordan’s sights, but Dustin was working on fixing that. “What do you mean? What was what all about?”

Jordan narrowed his eyes at Dustin. “Don’t try to fuck with me, boy. That would be a major mistake on your part.”

The desire to smash his fist into Jordan’s face was growing, but he held himself back, for Denver’s sake. “I’m not fucking with you. You’re just paranoid, dude.”

Jordan looked fit to be tied. He ran one hand through his hair, breathing heavily, a far cry from his usual calm self, before he managed to pull himself together. “You know what? Fuck you. Find your own way home. I’m  going.”

“Suit yourself.” Dustin shrugged. Could he be that lucky? Did Jordan just cut him loose?

Jordan’s next words brought him crashing back to reality.

“You get off tomorrow at midnight, right?”

Dustin nodded apprehensively.

“I’ll be here. We’re going to do this thing, and you’re going to do what I tell you, or else….” Jordan glanced in the direction of the front counter. Dustin knew what he meant, and he hated him for it.

“Yeah, I remember.” Dustin kept his voice as calm as possible. No need to alarm his cousin. With any luck, he’d get out of this without Denver having to know a thing.

Once Jordan stormed his way out of the store, Dustin started to pace up and down the aisle, not seeing the merchandise around him, thinking furiously. He had no doubt Jordan would bring the idiot twins along with him tomorrow, so that would be, what… three against two? Or did Roy intend to bring back-up of his own? Probably wouldn’t need it, though. He thought Lenny and Rusty were too cowardly to put up a fight once they were caught. And Jordan was all bluster and hot air. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious. Maybe he should ask Roy?

“Hey, what happened to your boyfriend?”

Dustin stopped pacing and glanced up. Denver stood  at the end of the aisle, and he was giving him a funny look. When Dustin glanced around, there was no sign of his customer. She must have gone.

“At least I assume that’s the guy you been seeing. I mean, you seemed pretty cozy, but I didn’t catch his name.”

“Jordan,” Dustin said automatically. “His name’s Jordan. And he’s not my boyfriend.”

“My bad.” Denver laughed. “Guess I just assumed, the way he was holding on to you there. So he’s not the guy?”

“Yeah, he is. Was. It’s complicated.” Dustin sighed.

Denver threw him a shrewd look. “You’re not in any trouble, right?

If you only knew.

“You know you can tell me, don’t you? I just want to help, honestly.”

“Yeah I know.” Dustin mustered the best smile he could under the circumstances. “And I do appreciate that, trust me. But I have everything under control, and I promise I’m not causing any trouble.”

“I didn’t mean that,” Denver began but Dustin cut him off.

“No, it’s okay, I do know what you mean, and you’re right, I’ve been an ass, but I’m turning things around, I swear.”

“I believe you. I’m in your corner, and so are Lee and Marshall. And Roy. Don’t be afraid to come to any of us at any time…”

“I promise.” Dustin relaxed at his cousin’s words. They’d had their moments, but on the whole, Denver was the best relative he had. Which was why he was going to fight to keep him safe.
The front door buzzed as another customer walked in.

“Hey, I’m gonna get out of your hair. I’ll catch you later.”

“Sure. Later, Dustin.” Denver turned to the newcomer as Dustin made his way past him and  out the door. He stood there for a moment, thinking over his options. Maybe he could hitch a ride back to the apartment? If push came to shove, he could always walk.

Just then, Roy’s truck pulled up in front of him. Dustin stared at Roy uncertainly. What was he doing?
“Get in,” Roy said. “It’s safe.”

Well, that settled that. Dustin climbed into the cab of the truck, and Roy quickly pulled away from the store.

to be continued

Now go visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #32 (9.1)

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.

This week, Jordan is forcing Dustin to help him case the computer store where he works, so he can rob it. Little does he know that Roy is keeping them under surveillance from outside. So why is he inside? Find out in this week's episode of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

The Sheriff #32 (9.1)

“Hey Denver, how’s it going?” Roy strolled casually into the computer store, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He didn’t know what had prompted him to throw caution to the winds and leave his truck when he was supposed to be keeping an eye on Dustin from the outside. Nothing other than a gut feeling that he needed to make himself visible, despite not being in uniform. Was he really that concerned about Dustin? And if so, why?

“Pretty good,” Denver replied. “Must be my lucky day, both you and Dustin showing up out of the blue.”

“Huh. Small world,” Roy commented before glancing toward Dustin. “Hey Dustin,” he said with a nod. His glance skimmed over Jordan, as if he didn’t matter. “Denver, I need you to show me something, if you would.”

“Sure thing, Roy, what are you looking for? Something for you, or for the job?”

“Me,” Roy said. “Well, both actually. I was just wanting to price a new computer. Step into the twenty-first century.” He realized as soon as he said it that was a dumb thing to say. He just had to hope Denver wouldn’t come out and ask him why the hell he’d come in to Tucker Falls for that when he had Lee and Marshall right there in Burnham, who would put him together a better system than anything most stores sold if he asked them to.

“C’mon then, let’s take a look. We have some nice models down here.” He waved Roy down the nearest aisle.  “Dustin, hang tight, willya? You’re not in a hurry are you?”

Roy turned toward the two men. He couldn’t help but notice the possessive arm Jordan kept about Dustin, and the obvious distaste which Dustin could barely conceal.

“No, I’m good,” Dustin mumbled.

At that moment, the buzzer sounded, admitting another customer, a young woman carrying a laptop case. She walked directly to the front counter, not bothering to glance around. Obviously she knew why she was there.

Denver glanced uncertainly at Roy. “Go on, take care of the young lady. I’ll be fine.”

“Well, if you’re sure. Thanks, Roy.”

“Sure I’m sure. Dustin can help me, if I have any questions. Right, Dustin?”

“Yeah, sure thing, Roy. “

Roy watched Dustin remove Jordan’s arm, as if it were something distasteful to him. He made a beeline for the aisle Denver had indicated, Roy close behind.

“I’ll just look around then,” Jordan volunteered, although no one had asked him, and he sounded a little testy, to Roy.

“What size hard drive were you looking for,” Dustin asked, pitching his voice to be heard all over the store before dropping it and asking, “What the hell are you doing?”

Fair question, but not one Roy could really answer. Not honestly, that is.

“Big enough,” he grunted noncommittally, then dropped his own. “Everything okay?” Which was a question in itself, and not an answer, but it’s what he had.

“Do I look okay?” Dustin fairly hissed. “Now he wants me to go poking around in the backroom, like I’m supposed to take inventory or something.”

Without thinking, Roy laid a calming hand on Dustin’s arm. They stood in a frozen tableau, staring at one another without saying anything. Roy stepped away first, clearing his throat uncomfortably, just as he got an idea. “Do you have anything else?” he asked. “Maybe something you just got in? I want to get the best I can, so I won’t have to do this again for a long time.”

“I can check the inventory,” Denver said. He threw Roy a grateful look, and Roy winked.

“If you don’t mind, thanks. I’ll just wander around while you do. See what else I might need.” Which was nothing, but he wasn’t about to admit to that.

“Yeah, sure, no problem. Shouldn’t take long.” He nodded to Roy before heading toward the back of the store. Moving quickly, Roy took up a vantage point from where he could see Jordan. He couldn’t help but notice Jordan was focused intently on Dustin. Denver was deep in conversation with the customer. Roy thought she was pretty, and Denver seemed interested in everything she had to say.

Jordan turned his head, and their eyes met. Roy thought there was a very cold, calculating look in the other man’s gaze. A shiver drew down his spine. This guy might be more dangerous than he’d figured. All the more reason to get Dustin away from him, and see him safely behind bars.

They stared at one another without speaking. You don’t frighten me, little man.

The moment was broken when Dustin returned from the store room and headed toward Roy without a second look at Jordan. Roy couldn’t but give Jordan a small smile of triumph before he turned his attention completely toward Dustin.

“Nothing new,” Dustin said. “Sorry.”

“That’s okay. I wasn’t exactly wedded to the idea of getting it right this minute anyway. I’ll look around some more. Thanks anyway, Dustin.” He gave a tip of his hat to Roy, gave Jordan a quick glance, as if he was sizing him up and then dismissing him. Heading toward the door, he called out, “Catch you at Partners, Denver.”

“You got it, Roy,” Denver looked up long enough to say. “Go and catch them bad guys.”

Roy exited the store without further comment.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #31 (8.4)

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, if you'll recall, we left Dustin with Jordan, who's getting ready to rob the computer store where Dustin works, with Dustin's help. See what they're up to in today's chapter! And don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been doing. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #31 (8.4)

“So what exactly do you think we’re going to do?” Dustin asked.  They’d arrived at the computer store,  a free-standing building in a lot all its own, and Jordan had driven around it, taking note of all the exits. Not that there were that many, just the one back door.

“You’ll find out when you need to know,” Jordan snapped. “They take deliveries back here?”

“Naw, front door,” Dustin replied, a little sullenly.

The more time Dustin spent with Jordan, the more he wanted to get away from him. Whatever spell the other man had woven about him was completely broken now. In fact, he loathed him completely, and wanted nothing more to do with him. Unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards yet. The only way to get him completely out of Dustin’s life was to make sure Jordan was put away for the things he’d done, so he couldn’t hurt anyone else. Too bad being a major dick wasn’t anything he could go to prison for. Of course, if it was, the prisons would be a lot fuller than they already were.

Dear God, please just help me get out of this, and I promise to do better from now on. I’m tired of being the problem, I want to be the solution.

He couldn’t help but think of Roy. More than anything, he wanted to be like him. Whether Roy believed him or not, he truly admired and respected Roy. If he could work with him, and not with the Tucker Falls sheriff, he’d be happy. Anything else was just wishful thinking on his part.

So what now? There wasn’t anything else to be seen from out here. Dustin  hoped Jordan didn’t expect anything of a sexual nature from him, that he’d only been bluffing when he suggested it. Despite the fact that Roy was keeping on an eye on them, he didn’t know what Roy could do to help that from happening if they ended up at Jordan’s apartment. Not like he could bust down the door or anything, and what reason would he have for doing so? Not unless Dustin screamed “Rape” out the window, and he had a feeling Jordan would make him damn sorry if he even tried. He was surprised when Jordan pulled into a parking spot at the front of the building and parked.

“What are you doing?” Dustin asked.

“Have to know what’s inside too,” Jordan said.

“You were here before, remember?” Dustin said uneasily.

“And now I’m here again,” Jordan said. “Get your ass out of the car. I want to see what’s out on the floor.  And I want you to find out what’s in the back room.”

“How the hell am I supposed to do that?”

Jordan shrugged. “Not my problem. When do you work again?”

“Tomorrow night.”

“Good. That’s when we’ll do it,” Jordan said.

Dustin felt sick to his stomach. “I don’t work alone, you know.”

“Doesn’t matter. We’ll do it after the store closes. What kind of a moron do you take me for?”

Dustin was tempted to answer that question, but decided he should hold his tongue instead.

“I said get out. Now.

Dustin reluctantly opened the car door and slid out, glancing around at the few other cars in the lot.

Oh shit. That was Denver’s car he saw. Denver must be working today.

“C’mon.” Jordan beckoned to him. “We’re going in, and you’re going to follow my lead in everything, you understand?”

Knowing his cousin was right inside, Dustin could do no less than nod.  He silently followed Jordan inside the store. A familiar buzzer welcomed them, one that Dustin knew could be heard all over the store, including the back room. A way of letting people know their entrance had not gone unnoticed.
With any luck, Denver would be in the back room, taking inventory. Or on a break or something. He would rather his cousin not see him with Jordan.

But luck was not on Dustin’s side today.

“Hey man!” Denver was sitting behind the counter, his phone in his hand. He rose when he spotted Dustin, slid his phone into his pocket and came around the counter toward him. “I was beginning to think you were a ghost, I haven’t seen you in so long.”

“Very funny.” Dustin rolled his eyes. “Been busy, that’s all.”

We’ve been busy.” Jordan inserted himself smoothly into the conversation, even as he came up beside Dustin and wound his arm around Dustin’s waist. A casual observer might think what a sweet young couple, but Dustin felt the difference in the tightness with which Jordan gripped him. “Haven’t we, Dusty?”

Denver arched a brow at the use of the nickname he knew Dustin hated. Belatedly, Dustin realized he needed to make a response of some sort.

“Um, yeah.” Well, lame was better than nothing, right?

“What’s up?” Denver asked. He turned toward Jordan. “Can I help you find something?”

“I got what I need right here.” Jordan planted a kiss on Dustin’s cheek. Dustin wished the earth would open up and swallow him right then and there.

Just then the buzzer sounded again. Good, another customer. Keep Denver distracted so he could…

“Hey, Roy!” Denver exclaimed. “Fancy meeting you here.”

Holy hell, fuck me sideways.

What in the world did Roy think he was doing?

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers have been up to!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #30 (8.3)

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.

Roy and Dustin are working on a plan to catch Jordan and put him away, but how dangerous will this be for Dustin? Good thing Roy's got his eyes on him. See what's going on in this week's episode of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #30 (8.3)

Dustin stared after Roy, long after the sheriff was out of sight, before he finally closed his mouth, which still hung open in amazement. If he didn’t know better, he’d say Roy was attracted to him. But that was a crazy thought.

Wasn’t it?

If he was, it sure as hell wasn’t one-sided, though, Dustin realized, considering the boner he’d just managed to pop. And that sure had nothing to do with Jordan. He was over that man but good. Roy, on the other hand,  was a whole ‘nother story.

He forced himself to focus. He didn’t have time to be mooning over anybody. He had to be wrong about Roy anyway, Roy was a straight arrow who just happened to have gay best friends. Didn’t make him gay.

Maybe he’s bicurious?

Dustin told his inner voice to shut up.

Dustin didn’t dare keep Jordan waiting, so once he was dressed he stood outside the apartment building, leaning against the wall, watching for him. He felt safer knowing Roy was keeping an eye on him. He deliberately didn’t try to spot Roy’s car, see where he was parked. If he didn’t know, he couldn’t very well tell Jordan.

Jordan showed up a few minutes after ten o’clock. As he climbed into Jordan’s car, he was grateful to see no sign of Rusty and Lenny.

“Hey there sexy,” Jordan greeted him, confusing the hell out of Dustin. Had he decided to forgive and forget? Did he think Dustin had forgotten his threats? His promise to hurt Denver, and his statement that he would take what he wanted from Dustin whenever he wanted it? What the hell was going through the other man’s mind?

He was even more confused when Jordan grabbed him and pulled him toward him, then  laid a long, hard kiss on him. Dustin tried to squirm out of his grasp, but Jordan only gripped Dustin’s arms tighter. He laughed as he finally released him and Dustin scooted closer to the door.

“That’s more like it,” Jordan said. “I like my bitches subservient.”

Dustin’s cheeks heated, and he clenched his fists to keep from striking out at the asshole, keeping his jaw shut tight.

This won’t last forever, he reminded himself. He’ll get what’s coming to him.

“That’s right,” Jordan taunted him. “You know better than to say anything, don’t you? Maybe I’ll let you put that pretty mouth to good use later.” He winked at Dustin before turning back to driving. Dustin wanted to puke.

“You should lighten up,” Jordan said. ‘You’re so uptight. You look like you’re going to a funeral.”

I wish.

“What’s there to be happy about?” Dustin countered. “Helping you set up my workplace to be robbed isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.”

“Wait till you see how much money we get, you’ll change your mind.”

Dustin glared at Jordan. “I don’t want anything to do with any of that, none of it. When this is done, I don’t want to have anything to do with you or your scumbag friends ever again.”

Jordan’s eyes narrowed, and Dustin thought he heard a quick intake of breath. Good, maybe he’d rattled the asshole.

“You don’t have that choice,” Jordan said. “What part of you’re my bitch now didn’t you understand?”

“I’m not anybody’s bitch,” Dustin said. “Least of all yours. You know something? You may be pretty on the outside, but you’re rotten as hell inside.”

His words only produced a laugh from Jordan.  “Somebody’s waxing philosophical today. Did you think that up all by yourself? Or did you hear that from your friends?”

“What friends?” Dustin bluffed, but he had a pretty good idea what Jordan meant.

“The ones I saw you talking to at Partners. Those losers.”

“Fuck you,” Dustin said. Jordan just  laughed harder.

to be continued

Now go visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them!

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

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #28 (8.1)

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.

This week, Roy takes Dustin to see the Sheriff of Tucker Falls, to see how to take care of Jordan and his gang. But what is going on with Roy and Dustin? Find out 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!  Enjoy!

The Sheriff #28 (8.1)

Sheriff Sinclair seemed about Roy’s age,a little grayer, and not as good-looking. Too soon to tell much else about him. Dustin decided to keep his mouth shut for once and let Roy do all the talking.

“Harlan, this is Dustin,” Roy began, wasting no time. “The one I told you about on the phone. Dustin, this is Harlan Sinclair, sheriff of Tucker Falls.”

“Nice to meet you,” Dustin murmured automatically.

“Likewise,” the sheriff replied. “Dustin, I appreciate you contacting Roy about this, instead of trying to handle this situation yourself. Sounds like this guy’s quite the manipulator. And this may be just the break we’ve been looking for. Right, Roy?”

“Seems like it,” Roy agreed.

It felt good to hear he’d done something right for a change, on top of the long list of the errors he’d made. “So the other night wasn’t the first time?” he ventured to ask, although he already suspected he knew the answer.

“I don’t think so,” Sinclair said. “If I’m right, he’s responsible for a whole string of burglaries lately. So what is this guy’s name, Dustin?” He held a pen in one hand, poised to write.

“Jordan,” Dustin replied.

“Last name?”

That took Dustin back, and he felt his cheeks grow warm. For a moment, he didn’t say anything. Sinclair gave him a quizzical look. Dustin felt stupid even as he cast a beseeching glance toward Roy.

“I don’t… I mean… guess the subject never came up.” Now he was more than a little embarrassed. How cheap did that make him look? He didn’t even want to know what Roy must be thinking about him right about now.

“Never mind,” Roy said smoothly, before Sinclair even had a chance to make a comment, assuming he intended to make one. “What about an address? You ever see where he lives?”

Dustin felt as though he’d just been tossed a lifeline. He nodded with a little more enthusiasm. “Yeah, I’ve been there.” He rattled off the street address, and was gratified to see Sinclair jot it down.

“No big deal, we can get his name from this.” The sheriff turned to his computer and began to type. Dustin risked a glance at Roy, afraid of what he might see there, but he saw no censure, only understanding.

“He has a couple of friends in on this,” Dustin volunteered. “Rusty and Lenny. If that helps.”

“Yeah, once I run his name, they might be under known associates,” Sinclair said. But Dustin couldn’t stop looking to Roy for his approval.

“Here he is. Jordan Lambourne. Address on Sycamore. Looks like an apartment complex, is that right, Dustin?”

Dustin forced himself to turn toward Sinclair and nod. “Yeah, he has an apartment. Lenny and Rusty live nearby.”

“Any priors?” Roy asked. It took a second for Dustin to realize the question wasn’t for him.

“Looks like juvie stuff, nothing too serious. Doesn’t seem like he did any time for anything, though.”

“Maybe his mother had it taken care of,” Dustin suggested. “I think she’s the overprotective type.”

“You met his mother?” Roy asked.

“Yeah, same time I met him. They came to the store to get him a birthday present. Money didn’t seem to be an object.”

“There are parents like that,” Sinclair conceded. “Cover up anything and everything their babies do. Spoil them, pretty much.”

Dustin wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case with Jordan. Nobody ever seemed to say no to that face, and he’d never learned how to be anything but selfish.

Suddenly he remembered something that must have slipped his mind. Jordan was coming for him at ten o’clock. He’d be good and pissed if Dustin wasn’t there. He broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about what he might do.

As if he could read Dustin’s mind, Roy said, “I’ll make sure you’re there on time, don’t worry. We just need a plan. Right, Harlan?”


“You mean like have me wear a wire or something?” Dustin said.

Sinclair chuckled. “Son, we’re not quite so sophisticated here, I’m afraid. We have to rely on good old-fashioned police work. For now, you’re going to go along with him, do what he says. Then when it’s time to do the job, we’ll have him.”

Oh great. He had to spend more time with the bastard. Just what he wanted. Not.

“What if he suspects you’re on to him? What if he figures out I talked to you?” Dustin felt himself slipping toward the edge of panic. Unexpectedly, Roy gripped one of his hands and squeezed.

“Listen to me,” he said in a commanding voice that drew Dustin’s attention without question. 

“Nothing’s going to happen to you. I promise that. And when he picks you up today, I’ll be close at hand. I’m not letting you out of my sight, trust me.”

Why did Dustin feel  immensely safer just hearing those words?

to be continued

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