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?"


8. The "Death" of Kristen Williams

May 21, 2008

"Once this mission is through, we'll have to kill off Kristen Williams," Agent Hal said. He was another of the three to recruit me. "Will you be ready when that time comes?"

The bullets would be blanks; all except one since Kristen's death was supposed to look real. It wouldn't look real unless my blood was part of the equation. A blood bag would be too easy to spot.

After learning that I would have to "die", I designed a pill that would slow my heart rate enough to seem and feel as if I were truly dead. It would last for twelve hours and was perfectly harmless.

October 21, 2008

The time came shortly after the finishing touches on the pills were made. The twins and I were standing on the roof of the museum that contained the Monet we were going to steal. What They didn't know was that I owned the original. We were going to steal a forgery that I had made and put in the original's place, and I would have to convince him that it was the real thing. I went through the sunroof first since I was the lightest.

The laser detectors the agency gave me really helped to speed things along. Not! Which is why I brought my own. Don't ever let anyone tell you that baby powder doesn't help find laser beams. It also won't damage anything, and it doesn't always show up in a chemical test. Lucky for me, I didn't have to use it until I got closer to the painting.

"Justin, Austin, I found it," I said pushing a button on my watch. The timepiece allowed the agents in the van to hear both of us. The earpiece was just for me. "It's in the west wing. I repeat, the Monet is in the west wing, third floor."

Just then, someone came up behind me. I could hear the sound of a gun holster being snapped open as I turned around to face Cortez. Our guns pointed at each other. Cortez was usually pretty careful. He only came out of hiding so he could kill his targets. This was not his best plan and even that failed drastically. I pushed the button on the watch so Justin and the agents in the van could hear everything.

"Here's the deal, Williams. The painting goes to me, and you and Justin get to keep your lives," he sneered. I stifled a smile because Cortez didn't know it was a fake and that there were two other members of our party. Justin's twin brother, Austin Matthews, and Donny, a strange little man. He was shor, slightly balding. If I gave any more details than that, you'd think he was a thousand times more odd than he really was. Anyway, Donny was in the get-a-way car that was parked down the road.

"Oh, you'll get your painting, Michael. Once we get out of the building," I lied just before Justin showed up.

"I also want you dead because of what you did to me during our last heist," he said before starting to walk away. I didn't care about the painting because it was fake. I could have cared less that he got it.

"You and I both know that's never going to happen. Now get out of my face," I said trying to shove him away.

"Good, because if I don't get that painting, I will kill you," he promised.

"You'll get your painting! Now get your face out of mine!" I was real gutsy. Here he was with a semi-automatic, and I was telling him what to do with my revolver. "I'm not alone, Mike. Justin and Austin are on their way up here," I informed him as if I were blowing their entrances. Instead of coming from the first floor, they came from the fourth floor where they saw me face to face with Michael.

"Kristen! Get away from her, Mike!" Justin shouted. Cortez wanted us dead, so I don't quite know why he ran away. All I know is that Justin was calling out my "name".

"Kris!" He was the only one I would ever let call me that. Whenever Donny tried, I'd give him the look of death. Austin didn't care what looks I have him, he was going to call me what he wanted to call me.

I kept telling Justin that I was fine and that he was acting like an older brother.

"That's ridiculous. You know I don't have any siblings." Let me explain this. Justin and Austin were separated at birth. They never knew anything about their relation to each other.

"Yeah, I know. It's a figure of speech, Dummy. Now let's get out of here before the cops show up," I laughed thanks to his stupidity.

I swallowed one of the pills I had made for this mission before we got to the alley. We ran in opposite directions. I was met by someone who looked like Cortez but really worked for the CIA.

"Where's my painting, Williams?" he said as he slammed me up against the wall.

"It's in the dumpster on the other side of the building," I said gasping for air. The twins had crouched behind one of the dumpsters closest to them. Cortez's men left for the other side of the museum.

"Come on, Kris. What are you doing making a deal with him?" Justin asked to himself.

I demanded that "Cortez" let me go before shoving him into the opposite wall. I pulled my gun out and fired three rounds before running. He fired back at me. Two blanks, one real. Three shots were fired before I fell to the ground pretending to be dead. It was hard to play dead with a bullet hole in the back.

Justin ran away from the scene while Austin stayed behind.

"Kris! Oh my God. Kris!" Austin said running up to me. He rolled me over and checked for a pulse before holding my face with his hand. "No! You can't die on me!"

I would love to see his face when I bring Kristen Williams back to life, I thought before blacking out. After two years, I had brought the CIA and the FBI closer to Justin than they would ever be able to get until a year later.

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