Rest assured. I am hard at work on the third Deputy Joe book. Since most of book four is "in the can," you'll have your Joe/Kabe fixes soon enough.
Here's a little bit of the work in progress:
Kabe thundered down the stairs tugging a white t-shirt over his head. A running man, sketched in rainbow scribbles, and the slogan be yourself graced the front. That probably would go over the heads of most folks around here. His jeans sat a little lower than they ought, but, for once, didn’t look painted on. He vaulted over the back of the couch and landed with his butt in the seat. As he reached for his hiking shoes, Kabe asked, “Where you going?”
“Huh?” I pushed away from the breakfast island and hooked my thumbs in my back pockets.
Grinning, Kabe shook his head and pointed at me. “You’re pretty dressed up for just heading to the gas station.”
I looked down at what I had on, plain white, western-cut shirt, dark blue jeans and my nice boots…I guessed he was right. “Oh, yeah,” I shrugged, “folks get in about half past three today.”
Kabe smacked his forehead with the butt of his palm. “That’s right, you told me.” He grabbed his phone off the coffee table. “But it’s barely ten.”
“Yeah, well,” I started ticking off all I had to do that morning, “Jen Cummings is gonna drop off my folks car at their place. Lacy’s stopping on her way in to pick up things from the market in Cedar, but there’s a few things momma’s gonna want from the little place here.” Their cupboards were all empty, even to the point of not having stores put by for end times. I’d fix that next time I went down to the superstore.
Heaved up a sigh and kept going, “Gotta do the walk through with the real estate gal and make sure everything’s squared away in their house from the vacation rental these past two years.” We’d been lucky and thier house hadn’t sat empty much. It weren’t on the lake or anything special location wise. But, it was one of what they called the pioneer heritage house…built back in the 1800’s and I guess that had draw. “I’m gonna get the keys back for all of it before I head down into Salt Lake to pick up my folks. You know, so I can be their pack mule for them.”
“Okay.” Kabe stood up, finished stomping into his shoes and came over towards me. “Let’s go.” He leaned in to hook his thumbs in with mine.
I had a lot of work to do and I knew he might look all rested, but he had to be bone weary. “You don’t have to come with me.” Wilderness fire crew work meant eighteen hour days and sleeping on the ground under your truck. If you were lucky someone arranged for mystery meat sandwiches…otherwise crackers and tuna eaten out of the can. After a week of that, I bet he needed a month to get back to feeling at all human.
“Yeah,” he grinned up at me with one of his soul shattering smiles, “I think I kinda do.”
Pulling his thumb outta my left pocket, he ran his hand up my arm. A little squeeze at my bicep punctuated his next statement, “Because you’re going to have to tell your parents.” That dropped a rock on my head. “About you and about me. And if I don’t go with you, you’ll chicken out.”
I tried to push him off – with my words, not my hands. “You’re on something…it don’t have to be right then.” Otherwise, I kinda liked having him pressed up against me like this.
“Yeah it does.” Kabe thumped his index finger against my chest. “‘Cause if you don’t tell them, they’re going to come home, run into the next door neighbor who’s going to be all up in their face with, ‘Oh my God, how are you handling your son being GAYYYYY!’”
“It ain’t gonna happen like that.” I might have been protesting, but in my heart I knew he was likely right.
He snorted. “If you’re lucky it’ll happen like that because the other option is that asshole, Pete Sampris, is going to take his uptight ass over to their place and have a counseling session as their fucking bishop about it all.” Both of us shuddered at that thought. “So who’s mouth do you want them hearing it from?”
Just the mention of Pete’s name was enough to tie my stomach in knots. “Get in the truck.”