I haven’t done any interviews lately, especially those that
require travel, but today I’m going to the small town of Burnham, Texas to talk
to the sheriff there. No, not because of any trouble or anything, but because
his book just came out, and I thought people should meet him.
Roy Landry is the Sheriff of Burnham. He’s agreed to meet me
at Milly’s Diner. Why am I not surprised? Neither am I surprised to see he’s
not alone. But that’s okay too. I like these other guys too. I know them all. By others, I mean Lee, Marshall, and Dustin.
I walk into the diner and make a beeline for their table.
All four men stand as I approach, and Lee pulls out a chair for me. Milly comes
to the table and greets me with a big smile. “Coffee all around?” she asks and
everyone readily agrees. She returns quickly with a pot of hot java and
assorted creamers and tells us she’ll come back when we’re ready to order.
“Good morning, guys,” I greet them. “How did I know you
would all be here?”
Lee clears his throat and Marshall snickers. “I told Roy you
wanted to talk to him, but he insisted.”
I give Roy a knowing glance, even as Dustin says, “Told you
so.” Roy turns red and everyone laughs.
“Oh hush you,” he tells Dustin, which produces more
“I’m happy to see all of you,” I insist. “It’s not often I
get to talk to such handsome gentlemen.”
Now Marshall and Dustin blush, and Roy and Lee chuckle.
“And how are you doing today?” Lee asks me.
I take a sip of blessed coffee, letting the warmth steal
through me, and smile. “I’m doing great. It’s always a pleasure to visit with
I turn my attention
to Roy. “Sorry, Sheriff, if you thought
having them here would keep me from asking you questions.”
Roy looks me straight in the eyes and replies, “I know
better than that, don’t I? Doesn’t mean I’ll answer all those questions,
though. Know what I mean?”
I know exactly what he means, and so do Lee and Marshall,
although Dustin has no clue. But there are some things Dustin doesn’t need to
know and I’m good with that, and so are the rest of them. Some secrets are
better left… secret.
“How long have you been sheriff here?” I ask.
Roy tilts his head, thinking. “Well, when I came here,
Marshall was what… thirteen?” He looks to Lee for confirmation.
“That sounds right,” Lee confirms. “He’s twenty-one now.”
“So I guess about eight years now.”
“Were you a sheriff somewhere else before Burnham?” I ask.
Roy shakes his head. “Nope, first time. Before this, I was a
PI. I did some work for Lee, that’s how we met. Then ended up moving here when
Lee and Marshall did and just fell in love with the place. When the Mayor asked
if I’d be the sheriff I said yes.”
“Burnham is lucky to have him,” Lee says. “Roy is the best.”
Marshall agrees, and all three men exchange warm glances. It’s
obvious how much they care for one another, and I feel my eyes start to tear
up. I try to be inconspicuous as I dab at them, but they catch me anyway. They
all smile, and Lee hands me a handkerchief.
“Always the gentlemen,” I say. “Thanks, Lee.”
“That’s him all over,” Marshall comments. “Except when he’s
Lee raises his eyebrows. Now Dustin and Roy snicker, while
Marshall sticks out his tongue. “You know it’s true. I don’t hear you denying
“I’ll show you ornery when we get home,” Lee warns him.
“Promises, promises,” Marshall counters.
Gosh, we are so getting off topic here, but I find it easy
to be distracted around them. Much as I’d love to be a fly on that wall and see
what happens, I know that’s not going to happen, so I won’t even ask. Back to
“So, I hear there’s been some problems over in Tucker Falls.
Isn’t that so, Roy?”
“Yes, ma’am, that’s true.”
I interrupt. “Please don’t call me ma’am.”
“Yes, ma—“ He catches himself just in time. “Sorry. The
sheriff there is a friend of mine, and he asked me to look into what’s going
“I think that’s great. Don’t you, Dustin?”
Suddenly Dustin won’t look me in the eye, and I have to
wonder what is going on with him, with them?
“Lee and Marshall just got married.” Roy deftly changes the
subject. Why is he being so considerate of Dustin? I didn’t think they knew
each other that well.
“I know, congratulations to you both.” I give the newlyweds
Lee raises Marshall’s hand to his lips and kisses it before
saying, “Thank you.”
Marshall’s eyes are fastened on Lee as he repeats,” Thank
you. Best thing that ever happened to me.”
I can’t help but feel a warmth at seeing the happiness they
radiate. I glance at Roy, and he seems both happy and… what…. Envious, maybe?
Like he wishes he had what they have?
“Roy, you seeing anyone these days?” I ask.
“Nothing serious.” He suddenly busies himself with the menu.
Like he doesn’t have the damn thing memorized. Just then Milly comes back and
takes our orders, and I decide to leave it for now. I’m sure Roy is capable of
finding some young lady who’d be more than happy to go out with him. Probably
not in Burnham. But there’s always Tucker Falls.
We’ll just have to see, I guess. I decide to relax and enjoy
the company. Sorry, that’s all the information for today. If you want to know
more, read The Sheriff. It’s out now.
Roy wouldn’t give up being the sheriff of the small town of
Burnham, Texas for anything. Maybe the circumstances surrounding his being
there weren’t the best, but all’s well that ends well. He couldn’t ask for
better friends than Lee and Marshall. And the people of Burnham have been
nothing less than welcoming, offering him the position of sheriff after he
decided to stop being a PI and settle there with his friends. Even so,
sometimes he wishes he could have what Lee and Marshall have. Does such love
even exist for him? Right now that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards, as
none of his dates ever seem to lead in the right direction. Good thing he has
his job to hold onto.
Dustin Johnson hasn’t had an easy life, bounced around
between family members since he was young. He first met Marshall in a bar in
Tucker Falls, coming to his rescue when he was almost assaulted by a disgruntled
would-be suitor, and became infatuated with him. Not taking no for an answer,
he kept pursuing him, colliding with Marshall’s partner Lee on more than one
occasion. But that’s all done now. He realizes he’s made some mistakes, and he
wants to turn over a new life. Beginning with a more permanent living
arrangement with his cousin Denver and a job at the computer store. What he
really would like to do is work in law enforcement. But Sheriff Roy Landry
barely gives him the time of day. What’s a guy to do?
Just when Dustin thinks he’s found the man of his dreams, he
learns just how bad a judge of character he really is. He runs to Roy for help,
and Roy promises to help him do what is right. Will Roy become the white knight
Dustin needs, assuming he doesn’t get killed in the process?
Sometimes love is where you least expect to find it. But if you keep an open mind and heart,
you might just find what you’re looking for.
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.
Although he was beyond happy for the newlyweds, he
was also jealous of them. 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 he was 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 now, 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 Johnson stood beside him, long neck in hand. Dustin’s cousin Denver was a friend of theirs,
part of a small group who 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 about his unwanted attentions to Marshall.
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.