To owe your life to a body on the coroner's slab seems like you're getting off easy, but you forget that the rescued live in the knowledge that they could one day repay it.
You can't repay a dead man.
The sound got closer, the familiar crunching of feet on gravel, that particular pattern that could only be one person and I felt something surge within me, that familiar, forbidden feeling. She was a superior, it wasn't allowed but her voice, her authority and confidence, it sent a shiver down me all the way to my toes. You could hear the power of her in her walk as she crunched along the gravel path to the cabin.
"Sarah. Who was he?"
The steps stopped. "Does it matter?"
"It matters to me, he saved my life, after a fashion. I owe him my thanks, at the least."
I felt her hands on my shoulders, her lips at my ear, bathing it in her warm breath.
"Very well, his name was Matthew and that is already dangerous for you to know."
She stepped up onto the porch and stood opposite me as I lay gently on the bench. I gestured to a seat and then sat up to pick up the whiskey bottle at my feet.
"To Matthew." I said, pouring myself a shot and then passing the bottle.
"To Matthew." She answered and together we let the amber nectar burn a thank you down our throats.
After a moments silence, Sarah spoke again. "They found the plant on the body, you're off their radar for now. This shouldn't have been necessary, agent."
"I'm sorry. I hit some unexpected... problems. I had to rush the job and I made a mistake."
Sarah uncrossed and re-crossed her legs, flashing some upper thigh beneath her tight maroon skirt. "You want to talk about it? I've already read the debrief, but do you need... something more?"
She was teasing me, she knew exactly how pluck my strings. However, I wasn't going to go there, I'd run through those thoughts non-stop since and I had no intention of revisiting them, not even for her.
"I think I'll manage." I smiled slyly, letting her know I was on to her little game. "So, what now?"
"You lay low for a while, till this blows over. You didn't leave cleanly, there will be questions. It would be better off if you just disappeared. Started fresh."
"And where would I disappear to? Are you going to provide a hole for me to crawl into till this all blows over?" I smiled.
"Perhaps we should conduct the rest of this conversation inside,” she said coyly, "people could be listening."