Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #56 (13.5)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, 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, from 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

In today's episode of Moving Forward, the guys are sitting around the pool, drinking beer, and talking about the future. See what's up with Marshal and Lee! Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to. Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

Moving Forward #56 (13.5)

“What are we drinking?” Denver asked.

“Nothing fruity,” Dustin replied, and they all laughed. He caught the eye of one of the swimsuit-clad servers and waved him over. 

“Cold beer all around?” Everyone agreed, and in short order four cold bottles sat on the table before them.

The four men kicked back and relaxed with their cold brews.

“So, after the cruise, you going back home, Dustin?” Marshall asked. He remembered Dustin saying he was staying with Denver just until the cruise.

Dustin shrugged. “I dunno. I’m kinda rethinking things, you know?”

“What kind of things?” Denver sounded surprised, so obviously this was nothing they’d discussed.

“I been livin’ in that small town my whole life. It’s time I got out of there. I was thinking about maybe relocating in Tucker Falls.”

“Don’t you need to have a job to do that?” Denver asked.

Marshall couldn’t help but hope Dustin had no ulterior motives, not when things were going so smoothly. Tucker Falls was awfully close to home.

“And a place to stay,” Dustin agreed. “I’m more than willing to work and pull my weight. I was hoping maybe I could stay with you, cuz.” Dustin threw Denver a hopeful look. “I’ll be able to pay rent and my share of expenses as soon as I can. I have a little money saved up, should help tide us over. I mean, nothing great, but a little.”

Denver tilted his bottle back and took a long drink. Marshall couldn’t tell by his expression if he was happy about the idea or not.

“We can try it out,” he said at last, “with the clear understanding that you will contribute to expenses, and if there are any problems, then I’m going to send you packing. Is that agreeable?”

“Very agreeable, and very fair,” Dustin said, grinning widely. “I appreciate that, Denver. I promise you, I won’t make any trouble. I’m thinking about doing something with computers, maybe even take some courses.”

“There are online courses you can take,” Marshall spoke up. “Give me your email address and I’ll send you some information.”

“I appreciate that, Marshall,” Denver said. “I’ll do that as soon as I find something to write on.”

“That’s cool,” Marshall said. “No rush. We have the whole drive back too. Do you have your own place, where you live?”

Marshall thought he heard Denver snigger, and Dustin squirmed a little before finally replying. “No, I live in my parents’ basement. How embarrassing is that?”

“Could be a lot worse,” Denver pointed out. “Lots of people don’t have even that much.”

“I know, but it’s not like I can bring anyone home, either. Not with the little ones running around, and my mom there.”

“Doesn’t your mom know you’re gay?” Marshall asked.

“Sure, she knows. She’d be thrilled to see me with someone, but I don’t want to get her thinking that way about every Tom, Dick and Harry I bring home.”

Marshall arched his eyebrows and Dustin turned even redder.

“I didn’t mean it like that. You know how parents get, wanting to know all about someone you’re seeing, wanting to know if it’s serious, all that crap. Didn’t yours give you the third degree about Lee?”

Now it was Marshall’s turn to blush, feeling his cheeks warm at Denver’s words. He didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t either be a lie or reveal too much. Finally, he settled on a veiled truth. “I got my dad’s permission to be with Lee, didn’t need anyone else’s.” He stared at the table, unwilling to meet anyone’s eyes.

He felt Lee take his hand and squeeze it reassuringly. “Anyone ready for another round?” Lee asked. “This one’s on me.”

Everyone did, and the conversation turned into other avenues. But Marshall hoped that having Dustin closer wouldn’t turn out to be a major disaster for all of them.

to be continued

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