Until Otecko got finished talking, I had been tempted to dig it up, and hand it to Rastilav, as horrible as that sounds. Of course I wouldn’t, but also, I couldn’t if my cousin had buried it in the sands where he was stationed. The last thing I expected, was to hear Michael’s voice behind me.
“Isn’t anyone going to welcome me home?” We both almost dropped what we were holding, Otecko’s poster, and my coffee. After a few minutes, and several hugs he explained.
“I was saving it as a surprise, but my tour is up a little early, for two reasons. One is my new job. As a matter of fact Otecko, you know my boss, his name is Sam Madison.”
Otecko laughed. “Kúzelník Sam!” Its Slovakian for magician, which Sam Madison might as well be. Michael had always wanted to work in intelligence after the military, now Sam had probably sped it along.
We caught Michael up to speed on everything, most of which, Sam had already told him. Two things dawned on us near the end of the night, both of which I asked him about. “Did you leave the treasure over there? Also, what was the second thing that brought you home?”
He smiled, and pulled something out of his duffle bag. It was the black glass and ceramic sculpture of a pouring coffee mug, he had made for me, From Stefaniak’s. “It was never over there cousin. I said it was buried in the sand, and glass is made of sand.”
“I hid them in the base of this black glass that I shaped for the pouring coffee. It’s been here the whole time. That’s the answer to your first question, it’s the easy one. The second one, you’re not going to completely like. I’m getting married to a wonderful girl named Jana .”
He had the same look he had when his pal Joey Coogan busted my dinosaur when we were kids. I tried to pass it off by making the joke. “She’s not Joey Coogan’s sister is she?”
His weak grin didn’t reassure me. His words hit me like a ton of bricks. “Not unless he changed his last name to Rastilav.”