Last week, as you'll recall, Marshall and Lee sat down face to face with Rhonda, and presented her with a united front. Have they seen the last of her? Find out if she's gone with the wind or not! Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to! Their links follow my tale!
Don't Look Back #53 (10.2)
Rhonda’s eyes narrowed, and she pursed her overly red lips as though she’d just eaten something extremely bitter. She drew back her hand, and Marshall flinched. He felt Lee’s muscles tense, and he just knew all hell was about to break loose once Lee got to her. But Roy acted more quickly. He caught Rhonda’s hand in his own and pulled her to her feet. She screeched indignantly before she yanked her hand back and stormed out of the house in a huff, screaming over her shoulder that they’d be sorry, and they hadn’t heard the last of her. Roy followed her to the door. His voice was too low-pitched for Marshall to catch whatever he was saying. Moments later, he returned to the family room.
“I think I managed to put the fear of God into her. She won’t be coming back here to bother you.”
“Thank you,” Lee said. “I don’t know what we’d do without you, Roy.” He drew Marshall closer as he spoke, holding him securely against his body. “Did you hear anything from the Attorney General’s office?”
Marshall’s heart thumped painfully at the thought that he and Lee might be arrested, maybe separated. Suddenly leaving Burnham didn’t seem like such a bad idea, after all. Not if it meant they could stay together.
“I did, yeah. That’s why I was coming here, to tell you, when I saw her truck out front.” Roy leaned against Lee’s recliner, his hat in his hand, plucking at the brim. “I went up to the capitol to see the attorney general, and I explained the situation. Without naming names, of course. Told him everything and explained what was going on. Then I asked him what he’d do if she should happen to file a complaint against you.”
All the blood in his body rushed to Marshall’s head, and his breath quickened. Lee gently stroked the back of Marshall’s hand, calming him. “Just remember I love you.” He pitched his voice for Marshall’s ears alone. Speaking louder, he asked, “What did he have to say?”
“What he told me was that since you’re both consenting adults, he really wasn’t interested in prosecuting you, and that nothing would be gained by it. Especially as you’re both hardworking, upstanding members of the community. He said he’s never been one to go snooping into people’s bedrooms, and he isn’t about to start doing it now.”
Marshall wasn’t sure he’d heard Roy correctly until he turned to look into Lee’s beautiful eyes and saw the relief there, and he knew it was real. He threw his arms around Lee’s neck and buried his face against him, squeezing his eyes tight to keep from crying. We’re safe, we’re safe… The words bounced around in his heart in a welcome refrain.
By the time he opened his eyes once more, Roy was gone and they were alone. “Do you think she’s really gone for good, Lee?”
“I don’t think we’ll see her again. I think she was only after easy money. She thought she could scare us into giving it to her, but she found out she was wrong.”
They didn’t speak for a few minutes. Lee softly stroked Marshall’s long hair, as he nestled against him. “You know something. I almost feel sorry for her,” Marshall murmured. “Almost. No one made her act like that. She chose to leave us. She threw away what she had so she could screw around. I mean, she had the best man in the world, and she let him get away.” Marshall raised his face to Lee. “And now she’s mad ‘cause I have him. Well, I meant what I said. Fuck her.”
“She never had me the way you do,” Lee said. “You’ve always had my heart, and always will.”
“And you have mine. Some things are just meant to be, I guess.”
Their lips came together in a tender kiss. “How about we get some work done?” Lee suggested.
Marshall knew if he said he needed more time, Lee would give it to him. He didn’t need it, though. He wanted to get back to normal. He wanted to forget that Rhonda’d ever dared to intrude on their lives. She didn’t matter. Only Lee.
“If you’re real good and get everything done, we can go down to the pond tonight,” Lee added. “Providing it don’t rain.”
“Sounds good to me.” Him and Lee, making love under the stars. He knew that was Lee’s way of showing he wasn’t afraid of her, or anything she might try to do to them.
* * * *
After dinner, they tossed their sleeping bag onto the back of the truck. Then they stopped by the grocery store and filled their cooler with ice and beer and picked up bags of salty snacks. As Marshall made his selection from the many varieties on the shelf, Lee commented, “Get plenty of whatever you want. Wouldn’t want to see you go hungry.”
“Are you suggesting I’m in no danger of starving myself?” Marshall picked a bag of spicy tortilla chips and a bag of pretzels. He turned to Lee and gave him a questioning look. “Sounds like you’re saying I eat like a horse.”
“If the horse shoe fits…” Lee whinnied.
Marshall threw the snacks into their cart, then added a bag of cheese curls for good measure, before slapping his hand against his backside. “You see any fat on me, old man? Can you say the same?”
“You tell me.” Lee turned in the aisle, presenting his ass to Marshall. Marshall took advantage of the situation to squeeze Lee’s cheeks. He knew the answer to that question as well as Lee did. Lee had the body of a much younger man. Marshall couldn’t wait to see it naked.
“Well,” he pretended to waffle. “Just ‘cause I don’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Guess I’ll have to test that theory tonight. By the pond.”
“You just do that.” Lee grinned.
to be continued
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