Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #19 (6.1)

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 prompts.

Last week, in The Sheriff, we saw Dustin and his new bf Jordan kicking it with a couple of Jordan's buddies. This week, we get to see what Roy's up to. Any movement in his love life? Find out in this week's chapter of The Sheriff! Don't forget to visit the other Briefers! Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

The Sheriff #19 (6.1)

Another blustery March day in Texas. The wind whipped at Roy’s hat like it had a personal vendetta against the sheriff. He clamped it to his head with one hand as he followed Lee and Marshall into a local steakhouse in Tucker Falls. The only saving grace as far as the weather was concerned was that the wind was coming up from the south, so it was fairly balmy. Roy knew he’d be wishing for these modest temperatures to return when the dog days of summer struck with a vengeance.

He’d talked his friends into meeting Denver for lunch, telling them they needed to take a break from work now and then. If he was going to be completely honest with himself, it wouldn’t hurt him any either. Roy had been keeping an eye out ever since the breakfast meeting with Harlan, but he hadn’t seen a thing. According to Harlan, the robberies were still going on, and not a damn lead to be had.
Between that particular bit of frustration, and his continuing failure in the romance department, Roy had to admit he needed this quick break with his friends.

Denver was waiting for them inside, at a booth near the front window, one which offered a great view of the parking lot. Lee waved Marshall into the booth and slid in beside him.

“Guess you’re stuck with me.” Denver grinned. “Can you get past me okay? Let me stand for ya.”
Roy shook his head. “No way. Just slide on over. My legs need more room than yours.”

Denver complied with a chuckle and a wink. “Just you wait till you get married. Then you won’t get a choice. You’ll end up wherever the little woman puts you.”

That produced laughter from Marshall and Lee as Roy took his place.

“Or the little man,” Marshall offered helpfully. Roy scowled at him.

“You got something against that idea?” Denver asked, but his question was interrupted by the arrival of the waitress, a chipper forty-something platinum blonde whose name tag read Tabatha.

She distributed menus then stood back and grinned. “Howdy y’all,” she greeted them. “Can I get y’all something to drink while you’re thinking what you want?”

They all opted for the house draft. “Be back in a tick,” she said, spun on her heel and headed in the direction of the service bar.

If Roy hoped the interrogation regarding his love life was over, thanks to the waitress’ timely intervention, he was sadly mistaken.

“Surely you’re not saying you’re too good to be with a man?” Denver continued. Roy couldn’t help but notice the twinkle in his eye, not to mention the snigger Marshall was doing his best to control, but failing sadly. As for Lee, while he wasn’t grinning, he had an all-too knowing look in his eye, like he knew something Roy didn’t know. There’d been times in the past when that look had led to an interesting development Roy hadn’t seen coming, especially when they’d been searching for the kidnapped Marshall. But not this time. This time Lee was completely coming out of left field, if that’s what he thought.

“I never said that,” Roy protested. “Fact is, I don’t remember saying anything at all, one way or another. You’re just a shit disturber, Denver.”

“Hey, that reminds me, where’s Dustin at? How’s he doing?” Marshall asked. Roy was grateful for the change in subject. He was curious to know the answer to that question to, but damned if he was going to bring it up first.

“Hell if I know.” Denver shrugged. “Haven’t seen much of him lately.”

Lee’s eyebrows arched. “You haven’t? Doesn’t he still live with you?”

“Yeah, I thought that was the whole idea of him moving to Tucker Falls,” Marshall said.

“He still lives there, sure. He’s just been busy lately. With his new boyfriend, I guess. I dunno. I just know he’s still working at the store, and he pays his share of the bills, and he isn’t in trouble. What more can I ask of him?”

“Well, that all sounds good then,” Lee said. “Would that boyfriend be the one we saw him with at Partners a while back?”

“I think so.” Denver nodded. Just then Tabatha returned with their beers, which she distributed in frosty glasses.

She took their order—four top sirloin steaks, in varying degrees of doneness. “Would y’all like fries with that?” They all agreed on fries and she promised to be back soon.

Once she’d gone, Denver cleared his throat and took a drink of the draft beer, before saying, “I’ve seen him pick Dustin up, but I haven’t exactly met him.”

“Oh? That seems a mite odd,” Lee said.

“Yeah, I agree, but Dustin’s old enough to know his own mind. If he wants to let some guy sit out in the drive and honk for him and have him running out the door like a schoolgirl on a hot date…” He shrugged and let the words lie where they fell. “Sometimes there’s a couple other guys with them, in the back seat. Didn’t get a good look at them, though.”

“That seems awful rude,” Marshall commented.

“I know, but like I said, he’s a grown man.”

Roy agreed with Marshall that such behavior was very rude. What had Dustin gotten himself into now, he wondered.

to be continued

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