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

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