From last time ...
"I don't think I can tell you, yet, Gandy. But I think I will. Soon. I have to find the right time, I think."
"When will that be?"
"I don't know. But when the time IS right ... I'll know. I WILL know."
And now ...
Gandy had driven across the Golden Gate and well into Marin County before Sarah finally spoke.
"You're a good kid, Gandy."
"I'm not going to tell you about 'Ma'am' again, Corporal Lewis. It's Sarah."
"Okay. Sarah, then. That still doesn't tell me what brought that on. Good kid?"
"Oh, I don't know. It just seemed like something that needed to be said, that's all."
Just then there was a loud bang and the car lurched a bit to the left but Gandy fought the wheel and kept the car more or less under control. He pulled off to the side of the road.
"Fuck. Goddamn blowout."
Sarah started to get out of the car.
"Where are you going, Sarah? I'll get it. You stay here in the car. It's a one man job."
"Look out to your left Gandy. What do you see?"
"Crap. Fog's comin' in. Damn marine layer is a pain in the ass."
"True, Marine, that it is. I've got flare in the trunk - you start changing the tire and I'll set flares down the road. Wouldn't want you to get hit in the fog, now would we?"
"No. We wouldn't. How far are we from the house? 10 miles yet?"
"Yeah. About that. Why?"
"Because if we aren't back by 1600 Lieutenant Dawes WILL leave without me. We only have one vehicle."
"You mean she won't wait?"
"Normally it wouldn't make any difference, but she has a date tonight and she wants to have time to get ready. As far as she's concerned, she's off duty at 1600. Period."
"What about my Mom? She'd just leave her?"
"She has her orders, Sarah. 1600, and that's it. As far as she's concerned, it's your responsibility to make sure she gets relieved on time. And man, does she need relief."
"What do you mean."
"I mean she's horny, Sarah. That's the randiest women I've ever seen. To tell you the truth, I never thought women got that way - not until I met her."
"Why is she so horny? I mean, you're right there in the same motel."
"Aw, she won't have nuthin' to do with me, Ma'am ... uh, Sarah ... uh, I'm just a Corporal and she's an Officer. Officers and Enlisted don't mix. Not in HER mind, anyway. She's got her sights set on the Base Commander, no lower rank is EVER gonna touch that."
While they talked, Sarah had walked back up the road a bit and set out some flares, while Gandy jacked up the car and got ready to take off the left rear tire. Sarah walked back to the car with a lit flare in her hand - to wave off any approaching car so it wouldn't come too close.
She watched as Gandy broke the lugs loose on the tire. She found she kind of liked the way the muscles moved under his shirt. A lot. She imagined what that back would feel like under her hands ... she was getting a little tingly sensation going when the jack slipped a little and cut his hand.
"DAMN!! AH!! Shit that hurts."
"Let me see. Damn that's lot of blood. Where'd it get ya?"
"The webbing between my thumb and index finger. SHIT."
"Hang on, Marine, I've got a first aid bag in the front of the trunk."
Sarah walked around to the open trunk and reached in to pull out her map bag, which was full of medical supplies. She pulled a gauze pack out of the bag, tore it open, and gave the large square of gauze to Gandy.
"Here, put pressure on the wound with this. I'll finish changing the tire and then we'll bandage you up proper."
"YOU'RE going to change the tire?"
Gandy looked a little ... surprised.
"Listen here, Corporal, I've had to change tires on a Jeep out in the desert in sand up to the hubs. This is a cinch."
"Okay. I'll bandage this while you do that. We gotta get movin'."
"Don't worry 'bout it, Gandy. If she's gone when we get there? Well, you can just spend the night. There's room."
And Sarah looked down and concentrated on what she was doing ... so Gandy wouldn't see the little smile on her face.