An Introduction to Candace Victoria Ryder

"I'm sorry. Did you say you forged my signature? Candace, how many times did you do this?" Dad was mad, and he had a right to be. I never should have done that.

"I only did this for the fieldtrips I really wanted to go on," I replied hoping I could use that as an answer.

"That doesn't answer the question," Mom stated as she stood in front of me. I wasn't going anywhere.

"Well, what do you want me to say? That it was the first time?"

"I'd like that to be the answer, yes, but that's not likely to happen. How many times?" he was annoyed that I had even tried to forged his signature in the first place.

"Fifteen," I made up a number. I really forged his name about forty times, I think.

"Really? Then why does this note say fifty?"


6. CIA

February 3, 2006

"When is the Bride of Frankenstein leaving?" I asked referring to my aunt.

"We're not going to discuss this, Candace," Mom said before narrowing her eyes at David who laughed at the movie reference.

This wasn't going to be good.

"She may be a horrible human being at times, but don't call her that ever again, or any other nickname you think of, for that matter," Dad said. They were leaving for their weekly date night. There was absolutely nothing they had to worry about.

"Jack!" Aunt Catherine called. "I don't trust your daughter." She never referred to me by my name; it was always "your daughter" or "that girl".

"Take down any and all traps you have set, Candace. Yes, that includes the ones set for David," He said fixing his suit. He knew what Aunt Catherine was talking about.

"But I didn't set any up," I said before he opened the door.

"Yeah, and I'm supposed to believe that you're as innocent as a new born child," Dad laughed before closing the door.

"Dad," I tried to stop him, but it was too late. They were already in his car and pulling out of the driveway.

"So, Aunt Catherine, when are you leaving?" I asked with hopefulness in my voice and eyes.

She wouldn't be leaving for another week. It drove me crazy. I tried my best to respect her to please my father. My mother could almost care less as long as Dad never said anything about respecting his sister.

At this time of the day, I'd normally be texting my friends or on facebook, but since I was grounded until the end of the school year, my phone and internet access was taken away. Homework was the only exception, and even then, it was supervised.

February 4, 2006

"Candace Ryder?" I heard from behind me. I turned my head so I could see who called my name.

I started to walk faster when I saw two people following me. They were in suits.

I didn't stop when I heard my name called for a third time. I ran to what would have been my next class had my parents never found my black book before these people could catch up to me.

The next time I heard my name, it was over the PA system, and the people who were following me went to Mr. Andrews' office while I still hid in the class.

I turned my head to scan the room, only to see that every eye was on me. Oohs and ahhs left everyone's mouth at the same time.

I left my backpack at the teachers desk, knowing that I didn't need anything in it for at least another year. Opening the door to Mr. Andrews' office, I saw the very two people that were following me. What could I have possibly done to bring these people all the way from Washington, D.C. to a town basically full of nobodies.

I knew they were from D.C. because of their badges.

Before they began to introduce themselves, I made a run for it. I didn't get very far, however. The farthest I got was the front door of the school before I was intercepted by a third man.

"We're very impressed, Miss Ryder," the first man said after informing Mr. Andrews that this was Federal business.

"It took not one, not two, but three CIA agents to take you down, and we're considered the best in the business," the second man said.

"What does this have to do with me?" I asked wanting to know why the CIA was interested in me.

"There's a job we need you to do, and if we like what we see, you will officially be one of us. Are you familiar with the name Justin Miller?" the first man asked.

I nodded my head. Justin Miller broke into my house two years ago. David never really knew anything about it. All he knew was that there was an unexpected visitor. Nothing was taken, thankfully, except for my piece of mind since my room was the one he used to enter the chateaux; and now I would have to work with him to get the CIA closer.

"When would you like me to do this?" I asked.

"We're hoping you would be able to help us, starting next week."

"Can't. I'm grounded until the end of the school year," I replied before they could go into any further detail.

They didn't even ask for my dad's phone number. They just called him up, and explained everything.

The phone that the agents gave me was set up so that I could't call anyone unless it was one of the agents that had just recruited me. That made my father happy. What made me happy was that I could continue pulling my pranks that now had a useful purpose.

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