The drive home was nominally pleasanter; no shorter or easier as it was snowing again, but she was going home, instead of out to work in the snow. When traffic came to a halt she did some of her aikido wrist-stretching exercises at the wheel, and listened to Sigue-Sigue and Vim for a while longer. There weren’t as many antics this late in the day; they were busy with travelers’ warnings, emergency information, and music. Liz guessed that they were probably a bit tired, too, since they’d been on the air for almost twenty-four hours now. In fact, as Liz pulled back into the still-unplowed parking lot of her apartment complex, Sigue-Sigue barked, “You people amuse yourselves for a while; we’re going to put on Metallica’s black album and sleep for an hour.” And she did just that.
Liz was too tired to think about dinner and the party store had never opened so she couldn’t get the bottle she deserved, so she called Andrew instead. “Did you enjoy the day off?” she asked sarcastically, when he answered and sounded far too chipper.
“Of course. I don’t even have snow tires, I’m not going anywhere in this crap. How’s Natasha?”
“Whining and melodramatic,” Liz sighed. “Which is probably unfair of me to say. She’s stressed out. Greg was on shrooms or something, and gung-ho to protect her from the coming breakdown of civilization. I had to shove him out the door and into the car.”
He laughed. “No wonder you sound like you’re in a such a great mood. Want to come out here? I could call Peach, and we could go sledding on trash can lids.”
“You’re a sick, sick man, Ondrew.”
“Want to go?”
“Not particularly,” she said, smiling. Andrew was certainly good at making her smile. “I’m cold enough already. Have you been listening to HMH?”
“The trapped DJ? Yeah, it’s too funny. Earlier they were interviewing the janitor–he’s stuck in the building, too. They were making up their own acceptance speeches for academy awards, since they couldn’t be kicked off the air. And they did a phone interview with someone at the Weather Channel. Right now they’re playing a whole album so they can sleep.”
“I know, I heard that last part when I was coming in. I’m going to watch Short Cuts again,” Liz said. She’d bought herself a used copy. “And perhaps make chili. That sounds like a good evening for me. I feel like shit and I want to have some dirty, nasty sex.” She said it lightly, but she was really speaking her mind. Sometimes that was the best way.
“I’d drive out there for that,” Andrew said. Liz laughed. His voice became immediately serious. “Are you hanging in okay?”
She made a noncommittal noise. “I’m too tired for cravings.”
“You sure you’re okay?”
Liz was silent for a long moment. “Yeah,” she said finally.
“Were you serious about not wanting company? I’ve been at home all day, and I wouldn’t mind coming down there.”
“It’s a long drive, Ondrew. And it’s snowing again. I had a hard time making it home.”
“I don’t mind.” He grinned in spite of himself, and added, “And I won’t expect sex. I just want to hang out.”
Liz laughed, and the image of herself rolling around on the floor with Andrew attempted to push its way into her mind. She couldn’t quite picture it, but tonight she wasn’t above screwing him just because he deserved it. Or maybe there was more to it than that. She wanted to be close to someone, physically, pantingly close, and Andrew was as good a choice as anyone and a better one than many–plus, he wasn’t fucking engaged. “When I saw the fish truck smashed up in the ditch, it bugged me,” she heard herself saying. “It reminded me of Mikey.” Her voice was charged.
“I’m coming over,” Andrew said.
She felt a warm glow in her belly. Yeah, he had more than earned a fuck. Andrew was a good guy.