Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #31 (8.4)

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, if you'll recall, we left Dustin with Jordan, who's getting ready to rob the computer store where Dustin works, with Dustin's help. See what they're up to in today's chapter! And don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been doing. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #31 (8.4)

“So what exactly do you think we’re going to do?” Dustin asked.  They’d arrived at the computer store,  a free-standing building in a lot all its own, and Jordan had driven around it, taking note of all the exits. Not that there were that many, just the one back door.

“You’ll find out when you need to know,” Jordan snapped. “They take deliveries back here?”

“Naw, front door,” Dustin replied, a little sullenly.

The more time Dustin spent with Jordan, the more he wanted to get away from him. Whatever spell the other man had woven about him was completely broken now. In fact, he loathed him completely, and wanted nothing more to do with him. Unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards yet. The only way to get him completely out of Dustin’s life was to make sure Jordan was put away for the things he’d done, so he couldn’t hurt anyone else. Too bad being a major dick wasn’t anything he could go to prison for. Of course, if it was, the prisons would be a lot fuller than they already were.

Dear God, please just help me get out of this, and I promise to do better from now on. I’m tired of being the problem, I want to be the solution.

He couldn’t help but think of Roy. More than anything, he wanted to be like him. Whether Roy believed him or not, he truly admired and respected Roy. If he could work with him, and not with the Tucker Falls sheriff, he’d be happy. Anything else was just wishful thinking on his part.

So what now? There wasn’t anything else to be seen from out here. Dustin  hoped Jordan didn’t expect anything of a sexual nature from him, that he’d only been bluffing when he suggested it. Despite the fact that Roy was keeping on an eye on them, he didn’t know what Roy could do to help that from happening if they ended up at Jordan’s apartment. Not like he could bust down the door or anything, and what reason would he have for doing so? Not unless Dustin screamed “Rape” out the window, and he had a feeling Jordan would make him damn sorry if he even tried. He was surprised when Jordan pulled into a parking spot at the front of the building and parked.

“What are you doing?” Dustin asked.

“Have to know what’s inside too,” Jordan said.

“You were here before, remember?” Dustin said uneasily.

“And now I’m here again,” Jordan said. “Get your ass out of the car. I want to see what’s out on the floor.  And I want you to find out what’s in the back room.”

“How the hell am I supposed to do that?”

Jordan shrugged. “Not my problem. When do you work again?”

“Tomorrow night.”

“Good. That’s when we’ll do it,” Jordan said.

Dustin felt sick to his stomach. “I don’t work alone, you know.”

“Doesn’t matter. We’ll do it after the store closes. What kind of a moron do you take me for?”

Dustin was tempted to answer that question, but decided he should hold his tongue instead.

“I said get out. Now.

Dustin reluctantly opened the car door and slid out, glancing around at the few other cars in the lot.

Oh shit. That was Denver’s car he saw. Denver must be working today.

“C’mon.” Jordan beckoned to him. “We’re going in, and you’re going to follow my lead in everything, you understand?”

Knowing his cousin was right inside, Dustin could do no less than nod.  He silently followed Jordan inside the store. A familiar buzzer welcomed them, one that Dustin knew could be heard all over the store, including the back room. A way of letting people know their entrance had not gone unnoticed.
With any luck, Denver would be in the back room, taking inventory. Or on a break or something. He would rather his cousin not see him with Jordan.

But luck was not on Dustin’s side today.

“Hey man!” Denver was sitting behind the counter, his phone in his hand. He rose when he spotted Dustin, slid his phone into his pocket and came around the counter toward him. “I was beginning to think you were a ghost, I haven’t seen you in so long.”

“Very funny.” Dustin rolled his eyes. “Been busy, that’s all.”

We’ve been busy.” Jordan inserted himself smoothly into the conversation, even as he came up beside Dustin and wound his arm around Dustin’s waist. A casual observer might think what a sweet young couple, but Dustin felt the difference in the tightness with which Jordan gripped him. “Haven’t we, Dusty?”

Denver arched a brow at the use of the nickname he knew Dustin hated. Belatedly, Dustin realized he needed to make a response of some sort.

“Um, yeah.” Well, lame was better than nothing, right?

“What’s up?” Denver asked. He turned toward Jordan. “Can I help you find something?”

“I got what I need right here.” Jordan planted a kiss on Dustin’s cheek. Dustin wished the earth would open up and swallow him right then and there.

Just then the buzzer sounded again. Good, another customer. Keep Denver distracted so he could…

“Hey, Roy!” Denver exclaimed. “Fancy meeting you here.”

Holy hell, fuck me sideways.

What in the world did Roy think he was doing?

to be continued

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #30 (8.3)

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.

Roy and Dustin are working on a plan to catch Jordan and put him away, but how dangerous will this be for Dustin? Good thing Roy's got his eyes on him. See what's going on 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 #30 (8.3)

Dustin stared after Roy, long after the sheriff was out of sight, before he finally closed his mouth, which still hung open in amazement. If he didn’t know better, he’d say Roy was attracted to him. But that was a crazy thought.

Wasn’t it?

If he was, it sure as hell wasn’t one-sided, though, Dustin realized, considering the boner he’d just managed to pop. And that sure had nothing to do with Jordan. He was over that man but good. Roy, on the other hand,  was a whole ‘nother story.

He forced himself to focus. He didn’t have time to be mooning over anybody. He had to be wrong about Roy anyway, Roy was a straight arrow who just happened to have gay best friends. Didn’t make him gay.

Maybe he’s bicurious?

Dustin told his inner voice to shut up.

Dustin didn’t dare keep Jordan waiting, so once he was dressed he stood outside the apartment building, leaning against the wall, watching for him. He felt safer knowing Roy was keeping an eye on him. He deliberately didn’t try to spot Roy’s car, see where he was parked. If he didn’t know, he couldn’t very well tell Jordan.

Jordan showed up a few minutes after ten o’clock. As he climbed into Jordan’s car, he was grateful to see no sign of Rusty and Lenny.

“Hey there sexy,” Jordan greeted him, confusing the hell out of Dustin. Had he decided to forgive and forget? Did he think Dustin had forgotten his threats? His promise to hurt Denver, and his statement that he would take what he wanted from Dustin whenever he wanted it? What the hell was going through the other man’s mind?

He was even more confused when Jordan grabbed him and pulled him toward him, then  laid a long, hard kiss on him. Dustin tried to squirm out of his grasp, but Jordan only gripped Dustin’s arms tighter. He laughed as he finally released him and Dustin scooted closer to the door.

“That’s more like it,” Jordan said. “I like my bitches subservient.”

Dustin’s cheeks heated, and he clenched his fists to keep from striking out at the asshole, keeping his jaw shut tight.

This won’t last forever, he reminded himself. He’ll get what’s coming to him.

“That’s right,” Jordan taunted him. “You know better than to say anything, don’t you? Maybe I’ll let you put that pretty mouth to good use later.” He winked at Dustin before turning back to driving. Dustin wanted to puke.

“You should lighten up,” Jordan said. ‘You’re so uptight. You look like you’re going to a funeral.”

I wish.

“What’s there to be happy about?” Dustin countered. “Helping you set up my workplace to be robbed isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.”

“Wait till you see how much money we get, you’ll change your mind.”

Dustin glared at Jordan. “I don’t want anything to do with any of that, none of it. When this is done, I don’t want to have anything to do with you or your scumbag friends ever again.”

Jordan’s eyes narrowed, and Dustin thought he heard a quick intake of breath. Good, maybe he’d rattled the asshole.

“You don’t have that choice,” Jordan said. “What part of you’re my bitch now didn’t you understand?”

“I’m not anybody’s bitch,” Dustin said. “Least of all yours. You know something? You may be pretty on the outside, but you’re rotten as hell inside.”

His words only produced a laugh from Jordan.  “Somebody’s waxing philosophical today. Did you think that up all by yourself? Or did you hear that from your friends?”

“What friends?” Dustin bluffed, but he had a pretty good idea what Jordan meant.

“The ones I saw you talking to at Partners. Those losers.”

“Fuck you,” Dustin said. Jordan just  laughed harder.

to be continued

Now go visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #29 (8.2)

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 prompts.

Last week, as you'll recall, Roy drove Dustin to the sheriff's office in Tucker Falls for a meeting with Sheriff Harlan Sinclair. Harlan thinks Jordan might be the burglar he's been looking for. Dustin is going to go along with him and find out what his plans are, so they can catch him. Watch Roy and Dustin fight their mutual attraction in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to. Their links follow my tale!

The Sheriff #29 (8.2)

Roy was glad he didn’t drive a marked police car. He had a sedan he used for police business, and flashing lights he could throw onto the dashboard if he needed them. Most of the time, he drove a pickup in and around Burnham.

That would make keeping an eye on Dustin that much easier. But first he’d have to get out of this uniform, which was a dead giveaway.

They left Harlan’s office with assurances they’d keep him in the loop, and would report back to him as soon as they learned something.

Roy glanced at his watch. “Shit. I don’t think I can drive to Burnham and back before that asshole gets here.”

“Does that matter?” Dustin sounded concerned.

“I just don’t want him to see me in uniform, might spook him.”

“We can find you something at my place,” Dustin said. He sounded more sure of the fact than Roy did. “Maybe something of Denver’s.”

That would have to do, Roy supposed. At least temporarily.

They returned to the apartment Dustin shared with Denver, and Dustin found some of his cousin’s clothes that looked to be on the large side. Either that or someone had left them there.

“You can use my room to change,” Dustin offered. He opened the door and waved Roy inside, standing in the doorway once Roy passed through.

Roy quickly undressed, his back to Dustin. Time was pressing now. He wanted to be out of sight and in position before that Jordan character showed up to pick up Dustin. Lost in his own thoughts, he was startled when Dustin asked, a note of worry in his voice, “Do you think I’m in trouble?”

Roy finished zipping up the pair of slacks he’d borrowed, and turned toward Dustin. “Trouble?”

“Yeah. For what I did last night. You know, breaking and entering? Robbing someone’s house.”

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem,” Roy assured him.

“Why not? It’s illegal, right? Last time I checked, stupidity isn’t considered a good reason to do something illegal.”

Roy refrained from chuckling at such logic. He could understand Dustin’s concern, especially given his history of bone-headed moves. He slipped a T-shirt over his head. It clung a little more than he would have liked, but that couldn’t be helped.

“I don’t think you’ll have anything to worry about,” he tried to reassure him. “Not from Harlan. Especially since you’re helping him crack this case that’s had him going a little nuts lately. He’ll be thanking you, not putting you behind bars.”

“You really think so?” Dustin didn’t sound convinced, his tone bordering somewhere around melancholic. Roy had almost forgotten what it was like to be young and full of self-doubt, riding an emotional roller coaster, no doubt hormone-driven.  Multiply that by ten, and that was an accurate description of Dustin.

“Stop that,” Roy said automatically, watching Dustin begin to shred his fingertips again. Without thinking he reached for Dustin’s hands and stilled them with his own. “I’ll talk to Harlan personally, and make sure you aren’t in any trouble. Hell, maybe after all of this, he might offer you that position you were wanting. Assuming you still want to go into law enforcement.”

Dustin’s jaw dropped, as if he couldn’t believe Roy had remembered that. His hazel eyes were wide and bright… and just for a second, Roy thought he saw something in them, something that drew him. When he caught himself swaying toward Dustin, he pulled back quickly, jerking his hands from Dustin’s.

“Gotta finish dressing,” he mumbled. Taking a seat at the end of the bed, he reached for his shoes, where he’d left them on the floor, and put them on quickly. Once he was done, he stood, brushed imaginary lint from his pants, and reached for his hat, which sat behind him.

“I’m going to get my car. You just do what you need to do. I’ve got you covered.” He nodded at Dustin, before hightailing it out of the apartment as quick as he could. His heart was beating a mile a minute, and he wished to God he had something to drink, ‘cause he sure as hell didn’t know what was going on. But whatever it was, it had to stop. Now.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #28 (8.1)

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.

This week, Roy takes Dustin to see the Sheriff of Tucker Falls, to see how to take care of Jordan and his gang. But what is going on with Roy and Dustin? Find out in this week's chapter 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 #28 (8.1)

Sheriff Sinclair seemed about Roy’s age,a little grayer, and not as good-looking. Too soon to tell much else about him. Dustin decided to keep his mouth shut for once and let Roy do all the talking.

“Harlan, this is Dustin,” Roy began, wasting no time. “The one I told you about on the phone. Dustin, this is Harlan Sinclair, sheriff of Tucker Falls.”

“Nice to meet you,” Dustin murmured automatically.

“Likewise,” the sheriff replied. “Dustin, I appreciate you contacting Roy about this, instead of trying to handle this situation yourself. Sounds like this guy’s quite the manipulator. And this may be just the break we’ve been looking for. Right, Roy?”

“Seems like it,” Roy agreed.

It felt good to hear he’d done something right for a change, on top of the long list of the errors he’d made. “So the other night wasn’t the first time?” he ventured to ask, although he already suspected he knew the answer.

“I don’t think so,” Sinclair said. “If I’m right, he’s responsible for a whole string of burglaries lately. So what is this guy’s name, Dustin?” He held a pen in one hand, poised to write.

“Jordan,” Dustin replied.

“Last name?”

That took Dustin back, and he felt his cheeks grow warm. For a moment, he didn’t say anything. Sinclair gave him a quizzical look. Dustin felt stupid even as he cast a beseeching glance toward Roy.

“I don’t… I mean… guess the subject never came up.” Now he was more than a little embarrassed. How cheap did that make him look? He didn’t even want to know what Roy must be thinking about him right about now.

“Never mind,” Roy said smoothly, before Sinclair even had a chance to make a comment, assuming he intended to make one. “What about an address? You ever see where he lives?”

Dustin felt as though he’d just been tossed a lifeline. He nodded with a little more enthusiasm. “Yeah, I’ve been there.” He rattled off the street address, and was gratified to see Sinclair jot it down.

“No big deal, we can get his name from this.” The sheriff turned to his computer and began to type. Dustin risked a glance at Roy, afraid of what he might see there, but he saw no censure, only understanding.

“He has a couple of friends in on this,” Dustin volunteered. “Rusty and Lenny. If that helps.”

“Yeah, once I run his name, they might be under known associates,” Sinclair said. But Dustin couldn’t stop looking to Roy for his approval.

“Here he is. Jordan Lambourne. Address on Sycamore. Looks like an apartment complex, is that right, Dustin?”

Dustin forced himself to turn toward Sinclair and nod. “Yeah, he has an apartment. Lenny and Rusty live nearby.”

“Any priors?” Roy asked. It took a second for Dustin to realize the question wasn’t for him.

“Looks like juvie stuff, nothing too serious. Doesn’t seem like he did any time for anything, though.”

“Maybe his mother had it taken care of,” Dustin suggested. “I think she’s the overprotective type.”

“You met his mother?” Roy asked.

“Yeah, same time I met him. They came to the store to get him a birthday present. Money didn’t seem to be an object.”

“There are parents like that,” Sinclair conceded. “Cover up anything and everything their babies do. Spoil them, pretty much.”

Dustin wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case with Jordan. Nobody ever seemed to say no to that face, and he’d never learned how to be anything but selfish.

Suddenly he remembered something that must have slipped his mind. Jordan was coming for him at ten o’clock. He’d be good and pissed if Dustin wasn’t there. He broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about what he might do.

As if he could read Dustin’s mind, Roy said, “I’ll make sure you’re there on time, don’t worry. We just need a plan. Right, Harlan?”


“You mean like have me wear a wire or something?” Dustin said.

Sinclair chuckled. “Son, we’re not quite so sophisticated here, I’m afraid. We have to rely on good old-fashioned police work. For now, you’re going to go along with him, do what he says. Then when it’s time to do the job, we’ll have him.”

Oh great. He had to spend more time with the bastard. Just what he wanted. Not.

“What if he suspects you’re on to him? What if he figures out I talked to you?” Dustin felt himself slipping toward the edge of panic. Unexpectedly, Roy gripped one of his hands and squeezed.

“Listen to me,” he said in a commanding voice that drew Dustin’s attention without question. 

“Nothing’s going to happen to you. I promise that. And when he picks you up today, I’ll be close at hand. I’m not letting you out of my sight, trust me.”

Why did Dustin feel  immensely safer just hearing those words?

to be continued

Now go visit the other Briefers and see what's up!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Guest Blogger: Alicia Nordwell

Please welcome my friend and fellow author, Alicia Nordwell, here to tell us about her newest release, Earning His Trust.


Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.  

Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.

The curtain slid on the overhead rails, and Evin held in his urge to snap about how long it took to get to him when the nurse said the ER was slow, but he froze with his mouth open.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Perez. I see you burn—” The doctor snapped his jaw shut and stopped before he reached the head of the bed. Micah was oblivious, sitting between his legs and playing with his fake keys, chewing away on the rubber tips and drooling. He clutched the soggy remains of a biscuit in his other hand.
Evin had to swallow hard himself. Of all the hospitals, in all the cities, his old boyfriend had to be in this one.
He looked… good. Older, some wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. It had been… how long since he’d seen him? Not since Ben was graduating medical school the same year Evin was graduating with a business degree. Evin certainly never expected to see him here, and by the shocked look on Ben’s face, he hadn’t known Evin lived in Portland either. Evin waited for Ben to say something else, but he just kept staring. Evin took a deep breath. He could be an adult. He was a dad now.
“Burned my hand,” he finished the sentence Ben never did. “I did it about an hour ago, and it really hurts.” Maybe he could move this along. Plus, Micah was on his third biscuit and getting fussy again. He probably needed to be changed, have some lunch, and then would fall asleep for the afternoon, just so he could keep Evin up all night again.
Ben dropped his gaze to Micah and then looked up to stare at Evin again. “What happened to you?”
Did he mean how Evin probably looked like he’d aged at least ten years since Ben bailed right before graduation, the last night they’d spoken? Well, spoken wasn’t a very good description for the fight they’d had after weeks of Ben ducking Evin’s questions about what he was planning. Maybe their relationship had run its course; maybe it was better for them not to be together.
But he’d never expected Ben to just up and leave. It’d been hard, but Evin had a job offer in Portland and he’d taken it. Fortunately, his best friend, Gianna, came with him, and they got an apartment together in a not-so-great area of Happy Valley. It’d been nice to have a friend he knew would stick by him, but then she met Carl, and they fell in love. Not long after that he met someone, but that had gone wrong too.
Gone was the bright, glittery guy who lit up the room in a flash, and this version of himself was all Evin knew how to be anymore. It was probably a disappointment. His hair was cut short instead of hanging down to his shoulders, and he was in a blue T-shirt and a pair of gray sweats instead of skintight everything. Nothing at all like how Ben would remember him.
Was he wondering how in the hell Evin had a kid, since he’d never even kissed a girl—at least before when Ben knew him? Probably.
Or had he brushed off their history, leaving Evin as the only one thinking about how the years had changed them—Ben definitely for the better. Most likely, he meant how Evin got the burn. He was a professional after all, and Evin was probably just another patient to him.
In the end, it didn’t really matter. His appearance, how he got hurt, it all came down to just one thing.

Pre-order Link:

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she's a MM romance author: "Why gay fiction? Why write men when you're a woman?" and her answer is: "Why the hell not!" Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started... Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she's a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on under her online nickname, Cia.

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