Steve Petersen is a Very Troubled Man. Sole survivor of a Taliban POW camp, he often thinks only parts of him returned; his sanity appears to have been left behind. He seeks solace in alcohol and drugs, but nothing helps block the images from his mind for more than minutes at a time, and he is trapped in horrifying flashbacks.
He is more than surprised when he wakes up in a bright and merry bedroom that turns out to belong to the widow Anna, a woman he has rudimentary memories of meeting. Knowing he should leave isn't the same as doing it, and before he knows what's happening, he finds himself pulled into a world with real life problems, such as folding laundry, and what's for dinner.
Whiskey is no longer his first priority, and not being alone in his waking nightmare is a relief. That is, until Anna disappears. Steve finds himself forced to return to Afghanistan, a place where he'll have to face both external enemies and himself.
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When they came home, Steve sank down in the sofa without even taking off his jacket. Life outside could sure be exhausting. Anna went into the kitchen, and he rested his head back and closed his eyes. Listening to her hum a song, just a little out of tune as she loaded the coffee maker soothed his nerves.
A hard rattling sound made him open his eyes again. Gunshots, and they were close. Anna still sang, and she would be an easy target.
He ran through the apartment, making sure to stay away from the windows. Peeking around the corner, his beautiful fiancée was oblivious to the danger.
How did they survive?
He sprung out from his hiding place behind the wall, shoved her down on the floor, and threw himself over her. After all she did for him, protecting her with his own body was the least he could do.
Anna wheezed, clearly trying to draw a breath.
"Sssh, they're coming."
She lay on her back, and the question in her eyes was clear. Have you lost your mind? Of course he had, a long time ago. She should know. When she opened her mouth, he covered it with his hand so she couldn't draw attention to them.
"Don't you hear them? The shots?"
She shook her head and closed her fingers around his wrist, attempting to pull his hand away.
"I think we're safe, but be very quiet."
Anna nodded, and as soon as he removed the hand, she whispered, "Please get off me. I can't breathe."
He obeyed, she endeavored to sit up, and he pulled her back down.
"Don't make yourself a target."
Why did she look so exhausted?
"Sweetheart, there's nothing there."
"But..." He had heard them.
"That noise? Remember the crazy people upstairs? I don't know what they're doing, but it's definitely them."