Rusty’s waist was engulfed by an inflatable inner tube shaped like a pink unicorn as he lounged in an above ground pool situated in the back yard of his small yet humble home. A pair of shades protected his eyes from the sun while a thick layer of zinc oxide did the same for his nose. Atop his head rested his trusty beer helmet, containers on each side filled with frosty brew. He inserted the attached tube into his mouth and sucked away as he pondered his predicament.
“Oh Lord, why have you forsaken me?” Rusty asked as he peered up into the sky. His pity party was quickly ended by a hand that grabbed his foot quite unexpectedly. As a result, he rolled out of the tube and into the pool, only to emerge seconds later with dripping wet hair. When the droplets of water fell from his eyes, the sight of Sharon clad in jeans and a T-shirt came into view.
“Up and at ‘em, fuck stick,” Sharon said.
“Damn it,” Rusty said as he spit the chlorine infused pool water out of his mouth. “Is that any way for an FBI agent to talk?”
“I’m off duty,” Sharon said. “Where’s Cole?”
“Hell if I know,” Rusty said. “I’ve been calling him all day but he won’t pick up his phone.”
“Same here,” Sharon said. “I need to talk with him.”
“Woman,” Rusty said. “Hasn’t that man been through enough without you coming around, messing with his head with your succubus ways?”
“What?” Sharon asked. “No, I need to…”
“Oh sure,” Rusty said. “It was all fun and games for you when you skeedaddled off to the FBI but you know who ended up picking up the pieces of Cole’s broken heart? Me. That’s you. And nursing that man back into being some semblance of a normal human being has been a thankless job.”
“Thank you, Rusty,” Sharon said.
“Well, sure, go ahead and steal my thunder,” Rusty said.
“No, really,” Sharon said. “Thank you for being there for him.”
Rusty pulled his beer helmet out of the pool and returned it to his head. “You’re welcome.”
“I didn’t come here to talk about that,” Sharon said. “I need Cole’s help. I want to get the son of a bitch that killed my partner and end this once and for all.”
Rusty gulped. “Your partner?”
“Yes,” Sharon said. “I’m sure if the situation were reversed, he’d do the same for me.”
“Oh, your partner,” Rusty said. “That robust, handsome, chrome domed man stallion, with his piercing eyes, soft, supple lips and arms you want to curl up in and get lost forever?”
Sharon’s mouth dropped. “Oh my God. You two didn’t…”
“No,” Rusty said.
“I was gonna say,” Sharon said. “‘I didn’t think his standards had dropped that low.’”
“I’ll ignore that insult,” Rusty said. “For Gordon looked into the abyss of my soul and pulled out something I always knew was in there but was always too afraid to admit. I’m a man snuggler, Sharon, and I don’t give a good Goddamn who knows.”
“A man snuggler?” Sharon said.
“I still enjoy vaginal intercourse, naturally,” Rusty said.
“Naturally,” Sharon added.
“But when it comes to cuddling, only the burly arms of another man who thinks the same manly thoughts and holds the same manly emotions as I do will ever do,” Rusty said.
“You two snuggled?” Sharon asked.
“We did,” Rusty said. “And it was magnificent. Sublime. It felt like how the angels must feel like when God clutches them to his bosom.”
Sharon scrunched up her face in confusion. “I’m glad Gordon had such a positive effect on you, I guess?”
Rusty proudly rested his hands on hips. “Oh he did, Sharon. Yes he did. For I am a heteronormative cuddle queer-sexual and I’m proud of it.”
“Is that even a thing?” Sharon asked.
“It’s 2017, woman,” Rusty said. “Every thing is a thing.”
“Come on,” Sharon said. “We need to check all of Cole’s haunts.”
Rusty stood there in the pool, dumbfounded.
“What?” Sharon asked.
“You mind turning around?” Rusty asked.
“Why?” Sharon asked.
“I’m au natural from the wais