“It still works.” I grab the remote off the side table resting against the wall and flip through the channels. “I can’t believe it’s working.”
“If I were you, I’d still put it in my claim with the insurance company,” Jake says, looking from the TV to me. “I know it works now, but it could stop working in a day or a week, and you don’t want to have to pay out of pocket if you don’t need to.”
“You’re probably right,” I agree as Tyler walks across the room toward me. Once he’s close, he wraps his arm around my shoulders and kisses the side of my head. I tip my head back to look up at him and whisper, “Thank you.”
“You know you don’t have to thank me,” he whispers back; then he leans down, touching his mouth to mine. The front door opens, and I turn to see who’s coming in. I grin from ear to ear when Bruce bounces into the room, heading right for Tyler and me with his tail going a hundred miles a minute.
“You’re home!” I wrap my arms around his furry neck and laugh as he licks my face. “I missed you too,” I tell him while standing to greet Angie as she comes inside with my brother.
“I thought about keeping him, but you know where I live, so I didn’t think it would work,” she informs me, and I laugh as she gives me a hug. “I’m so sorry about what happened.”
“Me too,” I say as she lets me go to accept a hug from Tyler. “Where are the boys?”
“With Beth. I didn’t want them to get freaked. Noah told me that things were pretty bad.” She glances around. “I guess you guys got everything cleaned up.”
“We did, but I still wouldn’t know how to explain to them about my missing couch, so it’s probably good they aren’t here.”
“True,” she responds, then looks between Tyler and me. “Do they know who could have done this?”
“Not yet. They said it will take a few days before they’re even able to get the prints into the system to do a search. Hopefully, we’ll know something soon,” I tell her as Tyler’s cell phone rings. I watch him walk off with his phone to his ear, and then I turn to ask if anyone wants pizza. I stop when Tyler comes back, looking furious.
“What happened?” Scott asks.
“That was Detective Miller. He said that when he got to the office today, he heard my name mentioned along with the break-in here. When the officers who took the prints got back to the station, he asked them if he could have a look at them, and on a whim he compared the partial he collected during the arson investigation to the prints they pulled today.”
“They got a match?” my dad guesses, and I look at him, then back to Tyler.
“They got a match,” Tyler agrees.
“But . . . but that doesn’t make any sense. Why would someone set a fire at your storage unit and then weeks later trash my house?”
“I don’t know, baby,” he says, running his fingers through his hair. “Detective Miller wants me to take you down to the station to ask you some questions.”
My chest gets tight, and nausea turns my empty stomach. “Why? Does he think I had something to do with what happened?”
Tyler’s expression softens, and he comes closer to me, wrapping a hand around the back of my neck. “No, he just wants to see if there’s anyone you might suspect, anyone you’ve made mad or fought with recently.”
“There is no one.”
“Talking with him might lead him somewhere, might give him a clue.”
“But they have a full print. Can’t they just put that in the system and see if it matches someone?”
“No, unfortunately, just because they have a match doesn’t mean they’re going to be able to rush the process. And in the meantime, Detective Miller doesn’t want something to happen again.”
“You need to go talk with him,” Dad inserts, and I pull in a shaky breath.
I know he’s right, that they are right. I need to go talk to him. I just don’t want to. I now feel like I’m somehow the cause of all this, but I don’t understand how that could be possible. I don’t have any enemies that I know of. I’ve never even cut someone in line or sneezed without covering my mouth. I get along with everyone I meet. It just doesn’t make any sense. “Okay, I’ll go talk to him. I just need to shower and change first.”
“I’ll walk you over to my place so you can do that; then we’ll go,” Tyler says.
I nod at him and look around the room. “Thank you all again,” I say, then listen to their sweet replies. I hug my parents, Chrissie, Angie, and my brothers. Tyler walks me to his house, with Bruce coming with us, and I take a shower and get dressed while he talks to his parents and fills them in on what’s going on. He’s standing in the bathroom, watching my every move with worry-filled eyes. By the time I’m done getting ready, my earlier hunger is nowhere in sight, and my nerves are a mess.