“No, you’re just an asshole.”
“Point taken,” I nod, as we clink beers. “So,
how is she?”
“I wouldn’t say she’s unstable. Considering everything, she’s… fine. Worried about what might happen, of course, but that’s a given. She’s a sweet girl. You should actually try talking to her.”
“I think I’ll leave the consolation part to you,” I sneer. “You seem to be doing it well.”
“You don’t think that I - “
“I don’t think anything,” I shake my head defensively. “She feels safer with you. I’m fine with that. You can be the inside guy, and I’ll just be the watchdog.”
“As always?” Anderson cheers again, and we both take a long sip from our beer bottles. “Go inside to rest. I’ll take the first shift.”
“Yeah. You’ll get the night shift, so I’m actually being selfish here,” he chuckles.
“You sly dog,” I laugh as well.
I finish the rest of my beer, then head on inside. As I pass the girl’s door, it’s tightly shut. No sound can be heard from inside. She smells of apple orchards in the spring, but the path there is closed. Trespassers aren’t allowed, and that’s probably what I’ll continue to be. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that she comes out of this alive and unharmed.
I have no idea how much I’ve slept when I wake up, it’s still daytime. I check my watch, and it has been only a few hours. Yet, I feel strangely well rested. That’s stress and adrenaline for ya. Receive the right mixture of the two components, and you’ve got a helluva cocktail.
I get up, and dizziness hits me. I stop, mid-motion, allow my head to adjust to the newly awake sensation, then get up completely, with both feet on the ground. One sniff in the wrong direction and I realize that I need another shower, even though I did take one before I went to sleep.
One quick shower later and I feel better, almost fine, actually. This realization surprises me. This is my first official day in this safe house, not counting the day of the arrival, and for some reason, I want to start it the right way, whatever that means in this instance. I put on a loose sweatshirt on top, and a pair of leggings, and walk into the kitchen, which smells pleasantly of pancakes.
There, I see Anderson by the stove, with a big plate of pancakes sitting on the counter next to him. He is humming a tune I don’t recognize, as he skillfully flips the pancake in the air.
“And, voila!” he shouts at no one really, as he successfully flipped the pancake over in the air, allowing it to fall gently back into the pan.
I chuckle loudly, and at that moment, he turns around. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he blushed a little.
“Oh, hey!” It only takes him a moment to regain composure and be his charming, assured self. “Didn’t see you there.”
“I noticed,” I smile. “Nice flipping, by the way.”
“Oh, that,” he grins. “Just something to pass the time. You’ll see, staying in a safe house isn’t all fun and games.”
“Oh, really?” I smirk. “And, here I am, thinking we’ll be having non-stop parties. I mean, that’s what your partner seems to think.”
His face immediately changes at the mention of his partner. “Seriously, don’t take everything Fynn says to heart. His tongue is faster than his brain and he often says things he doesn’t mean.”
“He sure sounds like he means it.” I take a seat at the kitchen table, and eye those pancakes. “But, I’d rather have some breakfast first, and then discuss the unpleasantries of our stay here.”
I see him trying to suppress a smile, but he can’t. He adds the last pancake to the tower of others, and puts the pan away.
“There, I made us all breakfast,” he announces. “We got maple syrup, some jam, honey, and powdered sugar.”
He places the full plate in the middle of the kitchen table, then sets the tableware for me. I patiently watch him do it, as he swirls around, not once removing that grin from his face. It’s pleasant, but almost feels a little strange. This is what my girlfriends told me that the morning after with a nice guy looks like. He’s happy you’re still there, and he’ll gladly make you some breakfast before you leave.