Spies must tell lies

'For years I'd been trying to piece together some form of family, and now I had a second chance. I wouldn't let it slip through my fingers.'

Charlotte Goode is fifteen.She speaks eighteen languages and knows how to fight. But she wants to know what really happened the night when her parents fought, and only one of them came out alive.

Spies must tell lies, but she is determined to find the truth.

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17. A lesson learnt

"There are three golden rules associated with vehicle surveillance. What are they, Ms. Goode?"

Mr Solomon's question was directed at me, I knew that much, but there were too many things on my mind to allow me to summon a proper answer.

"I... I don't-" I began, before he cut me off. "Ms. Baxter?"

I let my attention drift before I could hear Bex's answer. An answer I should have known, and yet was unable to recall. All I could think about was that I had Mr Mosckowitz next lesson. Sure, Mr Solomon was my favourite teacher, but I couldn't stop thinking about being taught by the brother of the man who tried to kill me. Then something that Mr Solomon said caught my attention. I looked up, and saw his eyes were on me.

"And the third rule - if people are getting hurt because of you, then you should abandon the mission completely."

I looked at the bruises on his face, caused by James Mosckowitz, but because of me. I thought I was going to be sick. I should have given up searching for the truth long ago. 

Spies must tell lies. We live lies. How could I have been naive enough to think that there could be an inch of truth somewhere?

"Class dismissed." Mr Solomon's eyes pierced mine as I slung my satchel across my shoulder. Just before I left, I spoke.

"I didn't mean to." The words sounded feeble, weak, certainly not the speech of a spy. But my lips had formed those words and let them free, and now they hung listlessly in the air, waiting for a response.

"I know." The response was reassuring, and I repeated the words on the way to my next class. I took a deep breath and muttered to myself, Do what you do best. Be someone else. 

I stuck a smile on my face as I strode into the classroom and took my seat. My cover was an eager student. But I wasn't sure what I actually was anymore.

I scrawled the date in my notebook and let my attention drift yet again. But I had learnt something before the lesson had even begun - everything happens for a reason. If I had been concentrating, I wouldn't have seen Zach, standing outside the window. His eyes wouldn't have locked with mine. And I wouldn't have seen him mouth the word run.

"Excuse me Mr Mosckowitz..." The name felt bitter on my tongue. "I forgot to turn in a CoveOps report for Mr Solomon. Please may I be excused?"

"Of course, Charlotte." was his response. But I hardly waited to hear it before leaving the room and quickening my pace. I hadn't seen Zach look so afraid since the night my father died.

I met him outside, but before I could ask questions he grabbed my hand, and together we ran.

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