Identity Unknown

"Being back here made me see how much it can get to you; the training, all of the lessons, even just the environment we are in. We aren't the same as everyone else. And everyone else can never know.'

After six months of searching for her father, Charlotte Goode returns to the Gallagher Academy. Exams and eager friends await, but something is wrong. When a phone call changes everything, Zach can offer the answer - but someone will stop at nothing to keep him silent. And when a double agent is revealed, Charlotte must choose who to trust - but time is running out, and the Academy's greatest secrets are at risk.

The stakes are higher, but is she ready?

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27. "We meet again"

"Mr Solomon!" I crashed my fist against the door of my teacher's office, not even trying to hide my impatience. I lifted my arm again, but a voice made me stop.

"I'm afraid Mr Solomon isn't here."

I recognised the rich British accent instantly. I spun on my heel.

"Ed?" I cried in astonishment.

"I know I was your designated carer for a while, Ms Goode, but let's not dispense of all formalities."

"Erm, okay, Mr Townsend..." It almost sounded like a question, but I appeared to have given the right answer, as an easy smile spread across his face.

"Actually, you can call me Sir." He sensed my confusion, and added, "Mr Solomon is, not available at the moment." His words made me flinch, but instead I heard myself ask: "Why?"

Townsend smirked. "Need to know basis, and frankly, you don't need to know." I sighed - he had always been patronising; but then again I understood his logic. There's no point fretting about something that you didn't need to know in the first place. 

"Why is he always running off somewhere?" I muttered. Townsend's face remained in a smirk (which I swore was actually engraved in his face or something).

"Spies sometimes have more important things to do than teach a group of young girls how to tail an operative or hijack a vehicle, Ms Goode."

"Yeah, but surely he shouldn't have taken the job if he couldn't give his full commitment to the task he was given - that being, to educate us in the world of espionage?" I countered. His face flickered slightly, and I noticed something different about him then. Sure, he hadn't shaved in a few days (which added to his looks, by the way), but I noticed the look in his eyes more than anything as he spoke.

"I believe that Joe Solomon will never be someone to just stay in one place and attempt a somewhat normal life, Ms Goode." And with that, he turned on his heel, mumbling something that vaguely sounded like 'Goodnight' over his shoulder. I was well aware that it was past three in the morning, but I wasn't tired. Maybe that's why I called out to him, asked the question I had thought about, chewed over for what seemed like weeks.

"Were you on the mission in Portugal when Stevens was nearly murdered?"

Townsend turned. He smiled a small smile.

"No," he said almost softly. And then he walked away, his strong form merging with the shadows that had collected around the edges of the corridor. And that's when I realised Townsend was one of the best spies I knew. His honesty, it could sting, but it was better than sugar-coating something and spoon-feeding it to a spy - someone who would know better.

And I knew better to take his word at face value. After all, spies make the best liars - and I could detect a false piece of information at a mile.

Townsend was there on the mission. And now I think I know why.

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