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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18. Meeting

I didn't ask where we were going. I just kept my hand in Zach's and matched his pace with mine as we ran. Zach slowed down as we reached a narrow path leading off the high street. I moved my hair out of my eyes and stopped to catch my breath, taking in our surroundings. I couldn't see anyone else, but I had a terrible feeling we weren't alone.

"What-" I began, but before I could finish another voice interrupted.

"Ah, my children!" she said, stepping out of the shadows. I instinctively stepped back at the grating sound of my mother's voice.

"You," I said simply. 

"My handsome son," she continued, smiling at Zach. "And my beautiful daughter!" She reached forward to stroke my cheek, but I stepped back. She tutted under her breath. I clenched my fists, steadied my stance. I was ready.

"What do you want?" said Zach. She laughed, a piercing sound that made me wince.

"Oh, I don't need you dear. I just needed you to find your sister for me." She smiled at me. I bit down on my lip, tasted the blood. Zach stepped closer to me.

"Now, we can do this the easy way... or the hard way," she said, sighing impatiently. "You will come with me Charlotte."

"No, I whispered, my voice cracking.

"I'm sorry?" She cocked an eyebrow, stepped forward, waited for me to answer again.

"She said NO!" said Zach, lunging forward and punching her squarely in the face. I could hear the crack as his fist connected with her jaw. She stumbled backwards. A trickle of blood seeped from her mouth. Her eyes went dark.

"Right," she said evenly. I grabbed Zach's hand, pulling him away. But he was frozen to the spot. I glanced at my mother and the gun in her hand, pointed at her son, poised to fire. 

So I stepped in front of Zach and closed my eyes.

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