Half an hour later the same faintly bitter silence still filled the car. Michael was fairly certain there must be an elephant sitting on his chest. He couldn’t get a full breath, and every time he thought about the stupid thing he’d said, he wanted to kick his own ass. If he’d been this stupid in the desert none of them would have come back, not even with the amazing shit Sergeant Soto had pulled out of nowhere more than once to save them all. Michael would swear more that more than once there’d been no warning, no way of knowing that shit was about to go sideways and still the Sergeant had kept everyone in the squad alive long enough to make it back. Well, at least to make it back in body. Michael wasn’t sure that Dieterman had actually made it all the way back from the sands. They’d kept him from being blown to hell and gone the day he probably was supposed to die, but something had broken in Raymond Dieterman that day. Michael was glad that he was going to be getting some help. He seriously wasn’t sure how the guy had hung on as long as he had.
Andy turned the Nova into his driveway, and started to reach for the ignition to shut the car off. Michael caught his writs in a loose grip. Crap, he’d forgotten to tell Andy about the garage door opener.
“I put an automatic opener in for you. So you wouldn’t have to leave your car out in the snow all the time.”
Andy’s mouth pinched into an even thinner line, but then he just shook his head, a reluctant seeming smile finally curving the sulky corners of his mouth upward. He turned and leaned back against the driver’s side door.
“And just when did you break and enter my home to put this automatic garage door opener in?”
Michael just laughed.
“Are you gonna press charges, babe?”
“What the hell would I say, Michael? Help, my stalker is fixing up my house and rebuilding my car from the ground up?”
Michael took his turn to blush.
“Ah, yeah. Something like that, I guess.”
Andy quirked a sleek blond brow at him.
“Right. And that would fly so well in the ever progressive courts of greater Syracuse… I’d be lucky if they didn’t arrest me for wasting their time.