“Damn, it’s hot.” Jim wiped his forehead with the back of his hand.
Blair closed his eyes and lifted his chin as the barest hint of a breeze blew through the truck’s cab. “Yeah, it is.”
Cocking an eyebrow at his friend, Jim grinned. “You know, Chief, I was sort of expecting you to grouse more about the heat.”
Blair pulled on the front of his sweat-soaked shirt and flapped it several times. “If it’d make you feel better, I’d be willing to whine a bit for you.”
“I’d rather you didn’t.”
Snickering, Blair said, “Because as a partner, I’m here for you, man. Just say the word.”
“Oh, shut up, already. Would ya?”
Lifting his hands in order to placate him, Blair continued to grin. “Cause you know--”
Blair chuckled for a moment, then unscrewed the lid to his thermal cup, dug out an ice cube and handed it to Jim, who popped it into his mouth without a second thought. Blair fished another one out for himself, then resealed the thermos.
After several minutes, Jim turned in his seat and looked at his partner. “So why aren’t you whining about the heat? Because God knows I’ve listened to you complain about molding in the rain and freezing your ass off in the cold .”
“Are you implying that I’m a whiner, Jim?” Blair asked with great amusement as he gave Jim his full attention.
“Of course not.”
“Too late to be PC, man.”
Jim chuckled. “Come on, Sandburg. Fess up.”
Blair gave him a long suffering sigh. “I’m not complaining about the heat because it’s not really that bad.”
“What do you mean it’s not that bad? It’s ninety-three in the shade.”
“Well, compared to the Grand Erg de Bilma in Niger in August it’s not so bad. And hey, at least we have water.”
Jim blinked as he processed what he was being told. “Are you saying that you were in the Grand Erg de Bilma in Niger in August without water?”
Blair shrugged. “No, we had water. Just not a lot of it, but it certainly puts the heat thing in perspective.”
“When was this?” Jim asked, torn between awe and horror.
“I think…” Blair paused. “I think I was twelve at the time.”
“The jeep Naomi and Bart rented broke down. If it hadn’t have been for the tribesman who found us it might have ended fairly ugly, but as it was we were adopted by the tribe. They had this really cool ritual where--”
“Sandburg!” Jim waved his hand, cutting off the story, knowing if he heard it he’d have to hunt Naomi down and strangle her. How in the world had Blair ever survived to adulthood? Jim shook his head and wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. “Damn, it’s hot.”
Blair chuckled. “Yeah, it is.”
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