Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #5 (2.3)

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, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Roy Landry has known Lee and Marshall for a long time, and is great friends with both of them. But will that friendship change now that they're married? See what's on his mind 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 #5 (2.3)

Roy knocked loudly at the familiar front door before he took a chance and entered, calling out, “Everybody decent?”

“No, Roy, but come in anyway,” Lee drawled.

He found both of them in the family room, where he figured they’d be, drinking beer and watching TV. Despite Lee’s words, both men were fully dressed. He’d suspected Lee was kidding by the tone of his voice, but Roy had been prepared to avert his eyes, if necessary.

Lee shot Roy a bemused glance as he dropped onto the sofa by Marshall, hat in hand.

“Just being cautious,” Roy said defensively. “I know how you honeymooners are.”

Marshall laughed. “Didn’t stop you coming in, though, did it? ‘Sides, it’s been two weeks. How long do you think a honeymoon lasts?”

“Knowing you two? Forever,” Roy said honestly.

“That may be, but I should hope you know you’re welcome any time,” Lee said. “Nothing’s changed. We’re still just us.”

Roy smiled at his friend’s words. He knew that, and appreciated it.

“Want a beer?” Marshall offered, rising as he spoke. Roy barely nodded before Marshall headed toward the kitchen.

Marshall had better manners than a lot of young people Roy knew. Like that young cousin of Denver’s. Lee had raised Marshall right. God knows what Dustin’s parents had done, but whatever it was, it hadn’t worked very well.

“Anything going on?” Lee asked. He picked up the remote and muted the sound on the television.

“Nothing I can’t handle,” Roy said.

Marshall returned and handed Roy a long neck.

“Thanks.” He took a long drink and set it on the coffee table in front of him. “How’s business?”

“Doing pretty good. Can’t complain.”

“We haven’t seen much of you since the wedding,” Marshall inserted.  “Been busy?”

“Somewhat,” Roy admitted. “Like I said, I thought you two might be… you know. On your honeymoon or busy  or something.”

“Too busy for you? Never. You know better than that. ” He gave Roy a sharp glance. “So what’s really up with you, Roy?”

“What do you mean?’

“I mean you haven’t stopped playing with that hat of yours since you sat down,” Lee said. “That’s generally a sign you got something on your mind. So, what’s up?”

Damn, Lee was too sharp for Roy’s good.

“I have to run into Tucker Falls to pick up something from the sheriff there…” Roy hesitated.

“And?” Lee prompted him.

“And I was just wondering if you might like to hang out at Partners tonight, that’s all.”

“Why didn’t you just come out and ask?” Marshall said.

Roy noticed the two men exchange glances.

“Because there’s more to it than that,” Lee said. “You meeting someone there?”

Roy swore under his breath. Sometimes he wondered which one of them was the detective, him or Lee. Maybe Lee should have been.

He hadn’t planned on explaining this part of it. Maybe because he couldn’t believe he’d done it himself. A few months ago, he’d signed on for an online dating site. He’d gotten a few emails from interested women, but nothing that had turned into anything. Until this one.

This one was pushier than the others, and somehow he found himself agreeing to meet her tonight at Partners. So what was he so worried about? He’d been out with women before.

Maybe because it was too much like buying a pig in a poke? Roy had never been on a blind date before, and he found the prospect… intimidating. Not that he was ready to admit to that. Nobody in Burnham would believe their sheriff was fighting a case of the nerves.

“Uh, yeah,” he said finally.

Marshall looked confused, but Lee was grinning. Roy continued to pick at his hat brim, his eyes cast on the floor.

“Hey, want to go to Partners tonight?” Lee asked.

Roy glanced up in confusion to find the question had been addressed to Marshall, not to him.

“I’d love a chance to show off my new husband,” Marshall said. “Sure thing.”

“Well, there you go, Roy. Looks like we’re all going to Tucker Falls. What time you want us to meet you there?”

“About nine, if that’s good for you.”

“Or we could drive together, and I can take you by the Sheriff’s office, if you like?” Lee offered.

“Okay, that works too.” That might keep him from doing something stupid, like inviting her home with him. At least Lee hadn’t asked any embarrassing questions.

Roy finished off his beer in one drink, set the bottle back down and rose. “Thanks, guys. I’ll be ready whenever you are. Just text me.” He started to head toward the door, but Lee’s voice stopped him.

“You can tell us all about her on the way.”

Roy suppressed a groan. He should have known better, shouldn’t he? Guess it was bound to come out anyway.

to be continued

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #4 (2.2)

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 briefs.

In this week's episode of The Sheriff, Dustin runs into a customer who is pretty easy on the eyes, but does that mean he should go for it? Does trouble just seem to follow him around? See what's up with him! Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's going on with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #4 (2.2)

Dustin cleared his throat. He must have misheard what the man said. His luck didn’t run that way, and he sure as hell didn’t need any more misunderstandings with hot men. He’d had enough of those to last a while. “I’m sorry, what game system were you interested in?”

The man addressed as Jordy cocked his head and regarded Dustin with what could only be regarded as a smoldering look. “What kind of games do you play?”

That wasn’t helping any, depending on what this guy meant by games.

The longer Dustin stared at his customer’s lips, the more he wished he could taste them—at least once. He shook his head to clear the inappropriate image, trying to remember what actual games he did play, but that didn’t help.  His mind had just gone blank.

“Anything, pretty much,” he said, wishing he didn’t sound so much like an idiot. Make up something, try to make the sale! Kenny was probably watching his every move. It wouldn’t take much for Kenny to recommend the manager fire him, and Dustin knew it.

“I don’t have any favorites,” the other man admitted. “I like to try… different things.”

Damn, this conversation was going in a whole other direction from what he’d anticipated it would when he offered to help this guy’s mother. What had she called her son?  Jordy? What kind of name was that for a grown man? Probably short for Jordan.

Jordan’s eyes seemed to absorb Dustin, beginning with his lips and moving south. He was making Dustin horny without even touching him. If this kept up, Dustin would have to excuse himself and find some private relief, or risk embarrassment.

“Well, what game system do you have now?” He tried to steer the conversation back into safe waters.

“I prefer pc games.”

“Then why was your mother standing in this aisle?” Dustin blurted out without thinking.

“She doesn’t know any better.” Jordan smiled.

Dustin’s cheeks heated. If Kenny heard him talk like that, he’d be out the door in record time.  

“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I didn’t mean to be rude.”

“No harm done. Tell you what, though, you can make it up to me.”

“How do you mean?” Dustin glanced at him suspiciously. Jordan’s angelic expression gave away nothing, but Dustin just knew whatever he wanted, it had nothing to do with computers.

“You ever hear of a place called Partners?”

“Yeah,” Dustin said cautiously. “I’ve been there before. Why do you ask?”

“Meet me there tonight. We can have a little fun. What do you say”—he glanced at Dustin’s name tag, pinned to his chest—“Dustin?”

His brain told him to say no, but his lips had let out a “Yes” before he had time to think about it too much. Jordan’s smile grew even wider. Damn, he was good looking.

“I’ll meet you there at eight,” Jordan said.

Before Dustin had a chance to tell him he’d changed his mind, or list the reasons why this wasn’t a good idea, Jordan’s mother had returned.

“Did you find what you wanted?” she asked her son.

“I did. Now I’m going to look at some computer games.” He winked at Dustin, before he took his mother’s arm. “Why don’t you show me everything that’s new?”

“Yes, sir. Right this way.” Dustin was attempting to take control of the situation, but he had a feeling he was failing miserable as he led them to the appropriate aisle. He wondered just what he’d gotten himself into…even as he was looking forward to the night.

to be continued

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #3 (2.1)

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, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

As The Sheriff continues, we find that Dustin isn't particularly happy with the job his cousin got for him. But beggars can't be choosers, so he hangs on to it. See how well that works out for him in today's episode. And don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they're up to! Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

The Sheriff #3 (2.1)

Dustin couldn’t decide which was worse—having a customer or not having one. He wasn’t all that computer literate himself, but he knew enough to get by. The real reason he even had this job was because of Denver. And frankly, he didn’t care for it. He couldn’t see doing this for the rest of his life. Or anything else related to sales. And most definitely not fast food.

He wanted to do something more interesting, maybe even exciting. Like law enforcement. But he had no idea how to go about that, which was why he’d wanted to talk to Roy. He was a sheriff, surely he could give Dustin pointers on how to get into the field.

But Sheriff Landry had been less than helpful. What crawled up his ass and died? You’d think he would have been in a good mood, after just seeing his best friends get married. It seemed as though the man had deliberately avoided Dustin after that. Whenever Dustin tried to approach him, he flat out moved the other way.  Finally, Dustin gave up and told Denver he’d wait for him in the car. He exited the house in a huff and sat waiting for Denver until his cousin was ready to go.

An  annoying buzz echoed loudly through the store. Dustin knew that what meant—a customer had just crossed over the threshold. If he had a choice in the matter, he would prefer to see some nerdy guy walk through the door. That kind generally didn’t require assistance. They knew what they wanted, and they were happy to find it for themselves.

Damn. This one was a woman, somewhere between middle age and senility. Guess he should offer to help her. He’d been sitting on a stool behind the counter, counting the minutes until time to go. Not much else to do. He slowly unfolded himself from the seat and slowly moved in the direction of the sales floor. He heard a sharp voice behind him, coming from the doorway that led into the back room.


Like Dustin didn’t know.

“I can hear,” he mumbled under his breath, never looking back toward Kenny, his immediate supervisor. Kenny was one of those guys who still lived in their parents’ basement even after he turned thirty. Fat and stupid, that was Kenny. He always looked down his nose at Dustin, like Dustin wasn’t good enough to breathe the same air as him, ‘cause Dustin came from a town a whole lot smaller than Tucker Falls. Dustin spent half his day fighting the urge to punch Kenny in his big fat nose.

“Can I help you, ma’am?” Dustin politely asked. She was standing in the aisle which contained various game systems. Nintendos and Xboxes and Playstations. The store offered the latest version of each.

“I’m looking for something for my son,” she said. “A gift for his birthday.”

Dustin refrained from rolling his eyes. Probably some entitled brat who had every electronic gadget known to man, and then some. “Maybe an Xbox?”Dustin suggested. “Or do you think he’d prefer one of the new PS4s? We have the latest model. There are certain advantages to having one,” he recited his standard litany.

The woman frowned, as if the terms confused her.  Dustin stifled a sigh and cast a surreptitious glance at his watch. With any luck, he could make this sale and get out of here without too much effort.

“I don’t know much about these things,” the woman confessed.

Then how do you plan to pick one?

Dustin held his tongue, though. “Well, what kind of games does he like to play? Maybe we can start there.”

The woman looked even more clueless than ever. Dustin knew this would not be easy.

“Oh, here he comes now,” she chirped, brightening as she gazed past Dustin just as he heard the buzzer go off again.

So this wasn’t a surprise. Good. Let the kid pick out what he wanted and see what games he could talk him into.

Dustin turned just as the newcomer joined them. Rather than being the nerdy teenager Dustin had imagined, this young man was maybe nineteen or twenty, stood a few inches taller than Dustin, was built for days, and possessed incredibly blue eyes and very kissable lips.

Dustin’s mouth dropped open at the sight.

The dark-haired god gave Dustin a bemused look. “I was parking the car,” he explained.

“Tell him what you want, Jordy,” the woman said. “I’m going to the ladies’ room, be right back.”

“Sure, Ma,” Jordy said good-naturedly.

Dustin didn’t know what to say, trying to gather his scattered thoughts. What had the mother said? Oh yeah, ask the son… so not a kid… what he wants.

“Um, yeah, so what did you want?” he managed to get out, cursing himself for sounding so stupid.
In reply, Jordan leaned down, as if to give something on the shelf a closer look. But Dustin heard what he said very clearly.

“What if I said I wanted you?” came the unbelievable question.

Holy shit, was this guy really hitting on him?
to be continued

Now go visit the other Briefers and see what's going on in their world!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #2

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, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by our one of our prompts!

This week, my new story, The Sheriff continues. Last week we saw Sheriff Roy Landry, at the wedding reception for Marshall and Lee, once the grooms have made their escape, and this week we'll see a little of what makes Dustin tick. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to! Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

The Sheriff #2

Damn, that man’s cold.

Dustin watched Roy walk away, feeling as if he’d just been dismissed. Why the attitude? He scowled. What had Lee and Marshall told the sheriff about him? Okay, maybe the relationship between the three of them had gotten a little… tricky. Didn’t mean he deserved to be dissed by one of their friends.

He’d have to ask Marshall about that next time he saw him. Couldn’t just come out and blurt out what he wanted to know. That never got you anywhere. Well, not with Marshall, anyway. And talking to Lee was out of the question. Lee didn’t particularly like Dustin, and Dustin knew it, although it wasn’t as bad as it had been when Dustin was hitting on Marshall. But things were better between him and Marshall now, so maybe he’d be willing to tell him the truth. If he could get him alone, that would be even better, although he wouldn’t push it.

Marshall was a good-looking guy, and maybe Denver had crushed on him a little. And maybe he’d come on a little strong, trying to get with him. Hell, shit happened. Couldn’t blame a guy for trying. Besides, Lee was old enough to be Marshall’s father, even if he was good-looking for his age.

He took a long drink of his beer, contemplating Roy, who was talking to someone he didn’t recognize, another wedding guest. Probably one of the locals. Well, that hadn’t gone very smoothly at all. Dustin was really interested in getting involved in law enforcement. He had a feeling Roy could teach him a few things. The man was pretty built for his age, and gave off that sort of don’t-fuck-with-me aura that Dustin admired. And Dustin really wanted to do something with his life. Something worthwhile.

Damn, why was Tucker Falls so far away? Why couldn’t his cousin live here in Burnham? He got the impression this was a very close-knit community.  Here they were in the middle of Nowhere, Texas, celebrating a gay wedding—back home, that would never happen. He yearned to be part of a community like this one. That’s one of the reasons why he’d moved in with Denver in Tucker Falls, hoping to find his place in the world. Someplace where people would actually be happy to see him.

But so far that wasn’t happening. The job at the computer store was boring. None of the other employees acted as though they even remotely liked him, although he had no idea what he might have done to piss off any of them.

Of course, why should they be any different than his own family? He’d been shuffled around from relative to relative as long as he could remember. It had taken him a while to figure out that wasn’t how normal people lived.

“Hey, you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Dustin replied.

He glanced at his cousin, who stood beside him, beer in hand. Denver was only about eighteen months older than Dustin, but sometimes he acted more like he was Dustin’s guardian than his first cousin. Denver liked to gel his wavy blond hair—so it would stay put, as he put it—and he liked to dress in bold colors. But he was a good guy, and Dustin liked him. Denver was about the only one in his family Dustin had anything to do with anymore, which is why he asked could he move in with him.

Denver gave him a sharp look. Dustin felt his cheeks grow hot under his cousin’s scrutiny. “I saw you talking to Roy. He’s a good man.”

Dustin nodded. “Seems like he is,” he said noncommittally.

“He’s best friends with Lee and Marshall, you know.”

“Yeah, I figured that,” Dustin said, wondering where this conversation was headed.

“Plus he’s straight.”

Dustin rolled his eyes. Apparently Denver thought he would hit on anything with a dick, didn’t he? Sounded like a warning there. An unnecessary warning. He wasn’t interested in the sheriff in a sexual way, just a lawman type of way.

Not like that was doing him any good, anyway.

“Good for him,” Dustin muttered just before he tipped back his bottle and drained it. “I’m going to get some air,” he said and walked away from his cousin before either of them said anything stupid. Especially him. He couldn’t afford to fuck this up by having a big mouth. If things didn’t work out with Denver, he had nowhere else to go.

to be continued

Now see what the other Briefers are up to!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #1

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, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts!

As you'll recall, last week we finished Marshall and Lee's story, but don't worry, they're still around. This week the story continues from a different perspective as we get to know Sheriff Roy Landry a little better. I've given the story a working title of The Sheriff for now, but that's subject to change. I hope you enjoy my  new tale. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!

The Sheriff #1

To Lee and Marshall.

Roy Landry raised his bottle of beer in a silent toast to the two men—his two best friends—who had just departed the wedding reception being held for them in Roy’s home. But that was traditional, wasn’t it? The newlyweds were always the first to leave. At least that was the case in Roy’s experience, and he’d been to a few weddings over the years.

He was beyond happy for the newlyweds, and he envied Marshall and Lee and what they had. He’d never met such a loving, devoted couple in his entire life.  And he’d never seen two people fight so hard to be together. Maybe their relationship was unorthodox in the eyes of the rest of the world, but to him they were perfect for one another. And he was happy to have become a part of their lives, even if the circumstances of their meeting were less than stellar. And proud to have been instrumental in their reunion after a horrific five year separation.

Hopefully, they’d have nothing but smooth sailing ahead of them, to make up for some of that unwarranted turbulence. And hopefully Lee’s ex would never show her face in Burnham again. After her last reception, Roy rather doubted she would.

 “So you’re a minister, are you?”

A voice broke into his thoughts, drawing Roy back to the present. Dustin stood beside him, long neck in hand.  Dustin’s cousin Denver was a friend of theirs, part of a small group that liked to hang out at a place called Partners, in nearby Tucker Falls. Dustin had helped Marshall out of a difficult situation at Partners—got him away from a pushy jackass who didn’t know how to accept no for an answer and was willing to inflict pain to get his point across. Roy was grateful to Dustin for that. But according to Marshall and Lee, he had the ability to be a real pain in the ass, too, and Lee’d had to put him in his place more than once.

Knowing Lee, Dustin should consider himself lucky he only got a talking-to.

All in all,  Roy trusted the boy about as far as he could throw him.

“Something like that,” Roy replied evasively. He didn’t think it was any of Dustin’s business one way or another. No, the ceremony he’d performed wasn’t legal, but there was no way anyone would allow that for Marshall and Lee, so Roy had done the best he could, and none the wiser who didn’t already know the truth. Which didn’t include Dustin, or even Denver. Theirs was not a secret to be told lightly, and Roy would never betray their faith in him by telling anyone what he knew.

“Did you do it over the Internet?” Dustin persisted. He was tall and blond, with hazel eyes and a cleft in his chin that some might consider attractive. He wasn’t a bad looking kid. Just not Roy’s type.
Roy wasn’t sure what his type was, but he liked his dates to be a little more… mature. And female. Not that he had anything against gay men, he just didn’t happen to be one.

“Some people do,” Roy said vaguely. “You thinking about becoming a man of the cloth?”

Dustin snorted. “Yeah, right. I don’t exactly see that happening any time soon. I think that would be more Denver’s style than mine.”

“What’s more my style?” Speak of the devil, there was Denver now. His cheeks were flushed, his eyes slightly glazed. Looked like he was having a great time.

“Your cousin seems to think you might be interested in being a priest,” Roy joked.

Denver glanced at Dustin and shook his head. “You better hope not. If I go into a convent, you’re out of a place to live.”

That produced an unexpected giggle from Dustin. “You getting a sex change operation, Den? 
Convents are for nuns.”

Denver shrugged, letting the words roll off his back. “Whatever. I’m just saying you’d better watch yourself. You remember our deal.”

As Roy watched, the young man’s face flushed almost angrily, and for a moment, Roy thought he was going to say something possibly inappropriate. But the moment passed, and Dustin didn’t say anything. Roy watched the rise and fall of his well-built chest as he calmed himself.

“Yeah, I remember,” he said at last.

“Good. I’m going to get another beer, want one?” The question was aimed at both Dustin and Roy.

“I’m good,” Roy said, and Dustin echoed the sentiment. Denver gave his cousin a final look before heading toward the kitchen, where the coolers were.

A moment of awkward silence sat between them.

“So I hear you’re going to work with Denver at the computer store?” Roy ventured after a couple of minutes.

“Yeah, for now.” Dustin shrugged. “Not exactly the job of my dreams, though.”

“What would that be?” Roy asked in spite of himself. He was tempted to walk away from the conversation, but it was his house, so how far could he really go?

“I’d like to do what you do. Law enforcement,” came the surprise answer.

The words caught Roy off guard. He froze, bottle of beer halfway to his lips. “You would?” He couldn’t think of any better response off the top of his head.

“Yeah. Need a deputy?” Dustin asked hopefully.

“Nope,” Roy said with what he hoped was a note of finality. “If you’ll excuse me, I should mingle a little.” He turned and walked off, not waiting for a response.

Like that would happen. Yeah, right. When Hell froze over.

to be continued

Now see what the other Briefers are up to!