Tuesday Teaser 3/14/2023
“How much detail do you give out about our lives?”
“Griff. They’re dogs. However, if you’d rather, I can write about my overly paranoid US Marshal boyfriend and his exploits.”
“Clint, Dylan has focused on every little detail you have posted on your website and Facebook. Does he know your real name? Because keeping all of your friends and their secret identities straight is a challenge. Coming from me that says a lot; I’m supposed to be good at tracking aliases.” Griff’s voice was steadily going up in volume.
“Oh, for God’s sakes. Yes. A lot of people know Bishop Gryven and Clint Bishop are the same man. And they’re not aliases, Griff, they’re pen names!” Clint was shouting now. Because of Griff’s job, Clint used a pseudonym, combining his own last name and a play on Griff’s first name of Griffen. “I don’t advertise it, but it’s not a big secret, and you’ve known that for years.”
“This guy right here is not normal. How can you not see that?”
“Griff, he’s harmless.” Clint tried to sound convincing, but the truth was he wasn’t so sure. The way Griff’s eyes narrowed a small amount was a sure sign he sensed Clint’s resolve faltering. “He is,” Clint insisted.
“How do you know for sure?” Griff asked. He wasn’t shouting anymore, but Clint heard the anger and concern in his voice.
“Because not everyone is the criminal you think they are,” Clint grumbled. Maybe neither he nor Griff should have had that last beer. “You know what? I’m not doing this. Not tonight, not tomorrow, not ever.” Without waiting for a response, Clint stood abruptly, brushed past Griff, and stalked to the living room. He grabbed the remote control, flopped on the couch, made room for Fern when she jumped up with him, and stared at the television, not even knowing what he was watching.
Griff grunted and mumbled a few more unkind words about Dylan under his breath that Clint pretended not to hear, which was silly. The house was small, and just about everything Griff said could be heard. Clint heard Griff march through the room’s other door in the office, headed down the short hall and to their bedroom.
When Clint woke up, the room was lighter, the television off, and a blanket had been thrown over him. “Aww, crap,” he grumbled and swung around to sit up. Fern stood on his thighs; she licked his cheek and wagged her tail while he rubbed her ears. “Yeah, you guys hungry? Need out?” She barked, jumped off the couch, and turned in a few circles while Phoenix ran back and forth from the living room to the side door, his tail wagging as well. “You two are no help; what did you let me sleep here all night for?” he said and opened the door for them.
He heard the shower running, but the bathroom door was closed. They never closed the damn thing, and having one bathroom meant sometimes using it at the same time. Clint sighed. “I guess if I’m desperate, I can go outside and pee on a bush with the dogs.” Knocking on the bathroom door, Clint asked, “Want coffee?”
There was no answer. Clint leaned against the wall and waited. When the water turned off, he repeated his question.
The door opened and Griff stepped out. “I’m late. I’ll grab something downtown.”
Clint grabbed Griff’s arm. “Griff—”
Griff leaned in and brushed his lips over Clint’s cheek. “I’m late, really I am. Candice will twist my balls about it all day. It’s no big deal, honestly. I’ll call you later if I get the chance, and we’ll talk tonight.”
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