Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #12 (3.5)

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

Last week, in Moving Forward, we saw the developing problem between Marshall and Dustin. This week, Lee decides to get to the heart of things. See what he does in this week's episode. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers have been up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!

Moving Forward #12 (3.5)

“They’re driving with us because we happen to be going to the same place at the same time and they’re our friends,” Lee said. Even though his voice never changed in tone, Marshall heard the implied criticism. Unless, of course, he was reading something into it that wasn’t there. Suddenly he wasn’t sure. “And you still haven’t told me why you’re acting like a jackass.”

“I’m not acting like a jackass,” Marshall halfheartedly protested.

Without warning, Lee pulled the truck over to the side of the road, slid the gear shift lever into park. Then he twisted in his seat and regarded Marshall with a steely gaze. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to—the look said it all. Marshall felt about five years old.

“The man helped you out of a bad situation,” Lee pointed out. “He didn’t even know you, but he stood up to that asshole, didn’t he? We owe him something for that alone. My God, when I think what might have happened to you—” Lee’s voice broke.

Marshall had never heard him so upset. He hadn’t realized how much Lee had held in to keep from worrying Marshall, and suddenly he felt like an even bigger dick. He scooted across the seat and buried his face against Lee’s chest. Lee wrapped his arms around him and held him tight.

Lee’s lips brushed across the top of his head. “There are terrible people in this world, Marshall, and I know I can’t keep you safe from them forever. But goddamned if I’m not gonna try. So yeah, I’m grateful to Dustin for what he did. I’m sorry if maybe you two didn’t get off on the best foot. Maybe you can get to know him on the trip to Galveston. He’s young too, you know? Cut him some slack.”

Marshall raised his head enough to look up at Lee. “What’s his age got to do with anything?”

“I just meant it wouldn’t hurt for you to be around people closer to your own age, that’s all.”

“You’re not gonna start telling me you’re too old for me, are you?” Marshall frowned his displeasure. Lee’s lips curled up in a smile.

“You look so cute when you pout,” he teased, taking Marshall’s cheek between his thumb and forefinger and squeezing it. Then he turned serious once more. “Hell no, I’m not too old for you. Is that what you think?”

Marshall tingled at the firmness in Lee’s voice. He recognized what was coming, and he welcomed it.
“No, sir, I do not,” he replied.

“I’m not convinced.” Lee started the engine and pulled back onto the road. “When we get home, you will clean yourself up, and present yourself to me in the bedroom for discipline.”

“Yes, Sir,” Marshall agreed with alacrity.

Nothing more was said for the remainder of the short drive home. Lee had turned the radio off so there wasn’t even that to break the silence. As soon as they pulled into the drive, Marshall leapt from the truck and headed inside, never looking back. He knew Lee was right behind him. He also knew what he needed to do.

He shed his clothes in the bedroom, tossed them in the hamper, grabbed a towel, and hurried into the bathroom. There was no time for dawdling. He turned the water as hot as he could stand and cleaned himself as thoroughly and as quickly as he could. Afterward, he returned to the bedroom and knelt on the floor at the end of the bed, having assumed the position.

He expected Lee to enter the room at any minute. He heard him in the kitchen, heard the fridge door open and close. He couldn’t tell what Lee was doing. Maybe getting a beer? Somehow Marshall didn’t think he would be receiving one of those himself.

He felt Lee’s presence, although he couldn’t see him since his back was to the door. But he knew he was there. He smelled Lee’s aftershave, mingled with his own intoxicating scent, and he wanted Lee closer, wanted to be held by him… and more. How long would Lee make him wait? What punishment did he have in mind? Marshall had no idea.

“I’m not coming in right now.” Lee’s voice sounded sharp, but Marshall knew it was just because he couldn’t see him to gauge his mood. What did he mean, not coming in? What was going on?

“You’re not ready for me,” Lee continued smoothly. “When you are, come into the family room. But be sure you are…” He left his words hang in the air. Marshall shuddered softly. He felt Lee’s withdrawal as an absence, and he realized he was alone in the room now.

What was he supposed to be doing?

Marshall never moved a muscle. There was no telling where Lee was. He could even be standing in the hall, watching, waiting for Marshall to do something stupid. Like move. Damned if he was going to do that. He did know better.

Marshall racked his brain, trying to figure out what was going on. If he didn’t, how would he possibly know when he was ready for Lee? He knew Lee didn’t mean sexually—he was always ready for Lee that way, and he knew Lee knew it. What else could it be?

Something prickled at his memory. He concentrated, trying to bring it into focus. There was something familiar about this scenario. Maybe it wasn’t as strange as he’d thought it was. They’d done this before, but when and why?

A sudden vision of himself as a much younger boy popped into his head, and he realized what Lee was doing. This was what Lee did when he wanted Marshall to think about something. He left him along with his thoughts. Marshall had a pretty good inkling what he was supposed to be thinking about—his bad behavior toward Dustin.

Good question—why did he dislike him so?

to be continued

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

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