My heart was close to being in my mouth and cracking like an egg. My confidence had been blended. Jacob still held onto me, trying to comfort me from being shoved away by Ashleigh. I wished this hadn’t happened, but of course, I couldn’t stop things like this. What could a seventeen year old kid do against a grown woman? Nothing: that was all I could do.
‘Amy?’ Jacob tried to look me in the eyes, checking if I was ok.
‘We’ll sort this out.’ I growled, hoping I was right this time round.
‘I think we all hope so.’ Mark stood by Matt, holding Matt’s right shoulder in his left hand.
I then saw the flashing button. The piece of paper came out. I took it and started decoding it. It read: 968 9455 63837 23 25663. 76437.
‘You will never be alone.’ I had decoded the message.
‘As long as we have each other, we can fight this to the end.’ Susan sighed, not understanding my worries about this message sent to us through the small machine.
‘Auntie Susan, you don’t get it. The last part spells Roger.’ I was worried how he could have done this, since he had been murdered.
‘She’s right. It spells my name.’ A figure in a jet black hooded cloak walked into the base, limping a little bit.
‘It can’t be! Uncle Roger?’ I stepped closer to the figure.
‘You’re a smart kid, Amelia.’ The figure removed their hood.
Roger’s face was pale and weak, just like his hands. I helped him sit down. Susan sat next to him and they had a family reunion with their kids too and I let Susan explain about Harvey being their son. Roger’s face lit up and greeted him like he’d only been away for a few weeks rather than his whole life.
‘The family’s being brought together so something can happen, but we need to find out what we’re being gathered for. Whatever it is, it’s not agreeing with my senses.’ I growled.
Mark saw the concentration building somehow. I was ready to fight back against everything that wanted to hurt my family.
‘Amy, we should rest and we can figure this out in the morning.’ Mark sighed, but I wasn’t so sure we’d have the morning.
Jacob walked to me and smirked at me. I knew he wanted to talk to me about something.
‘Can I talk to you somewhere?’ Jacob asked.
‘Sure.’ I shrugged.
I led Jacob towards my room and he shut the door after us. We both sat on my bed. He sat on my left and held my left hand in his right. Something told me he was nervous about what he had to say.
‘What is it?’ I was worried about him now.
‘I think I’ve found some feelings I’m not sure about.’ He couldn’t look me in the eye.
‘Who do you have these feelings for?’
I could see on his face it was really difficult for him to tell me who it was. Then the thought hit me. He’d been winking at me, kissing me and flirting with just me. Was I thinking what I think I was thinking?
‘Do you like me that way, Jacob?’
Jacob’s head shot up and looked me in the eye. He had a tiny smile on his face. I’d found out his secret.
‘I’m sorry about this, Amy. It must be difficult.’
‘You can’t help who you fall for, Jakey.’
He looked down for a second and then he looked up into my eyes. He cupped my face a little bit and then he pressed his lips against mine. I let him hold me to him as I held him to me. We didn’t want to let go. Jacob finally released us for air. I was in shock what we had done.
‘I’ve shocked you, haven’t I?’
‘Just a little bit, Jakey. At least I know how we feel.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I know how you feel about me. You know how I feel about you. That’s the best way to live. If we don’t find out, we would be in more pain than if we knew.’
‘What are we gonna do about this situation? You’re my sister.’
‘You may be my brother, but if you remember, one of our Aunties, I think it’s either Eleanor or Susan, is Mark’s second cousin. We’re all connected strongly without even knowing it.’
Jacob looked in my eyes and smirked.
‘Your eyes are dazzling. I’ve never seen it before. You have a sparkle in them that makes them all the more beautiful. They’re brown and blue-grey mixed together to make them look green and they’re beautiful. They’re as beautiful as you.’
Jacob then kissed my lips again. We both held onto each other and didn’t want to let go. He managed to get me up and against the wall. He held me against the wall, following my figure even more than when we were sat on my bed. We finally came up for air and then we rested our foreheads together. We were in love more than I ever thought was possible with my Jakey.
‘You’re my Jakey now.’
‘You’re my Amy now.’
I smiled at him and he kissed both my cheeks gently.
‘You’re beautiful when you blush.’ Jacob whispered in my right ear and then kissed my ear.
I was overwhelmed by my thoughts. All I could think of was him. He was my other half. I had to stay with him forever. He would help me to be me. Jacob Thomas would be my protector.
‘I’d better let you sleep.’ Jacob sighed deeply, drawing me even more.
He kissed me again on the lips and quickly left, but he winked at me before he did. I smiled even more once he had gone. I got into my nightwear and then I got myself into bed, thinking of me and Jacob. My thoughts wouldn’t let me go now. I just let myself get swallowed by sleep.
Light from the balcony channelled right into my face. It woke me up, so I got out of bed and changed into a fresh and clean TSB uniform. I looked at the clock on my bedside table. It was half six in the morning. I dashed downstairs to the controls, checking that everything was working properly. Then I saw it. A family tree was on the wall, which hadn’t been there before.
‘What are you up to?’ I whispered, trying to figure out what was going on with the family tree on the wall.
Someone dashed down the stairs, stopping as they obviously saw me.
‘Amy, have you been here all night?’ Mark was then on my left and he saw I was feeling tired.
‘No. I woke up before you did. I think I know why.’ I looked at the family tree on the wall more closely.
Everyone was there, from Roger who was the eldest to me who was the youngest. It was brand new, like wasn’t there last night new. Mark saw the family tree, hoping it wouldn’t tear the family apart like everything else had. Both of us seemed to know that Ashleigh was up to something and we’d be on the receiving end of it.
‘That wasn’t there before.’ Mark saw my curiosity blooming.
I walked to it and saw there was a scrap of paper tucked behind the bottom left corner. I pulled it out. It wasn’t neat around the edges, but the handwriting was so carefully written it was scary. I knew just by reading it I would be putting myself in danger. But then I figured out I always put myself in danger for this troublesome family of mine. This was the problem being born into a Spy family: chaos and disaster follows every single member.
The note read:
To all Thomas and Jones family members,
This is your final warning. If you don’t hand over the youngest Thomas alive then you will all die. This is you final warning. Do as we say or this family will die.
The Falling Stars
I was in shock. I knew they’d want something from the family, but I didn’t expect them to want me so quickly after we defeated them. I handed the note to Mark. He read it and he was in even more shock than I was. Obviously I had been a step ahead of Mark all along.
‘They really want you for something.’ Mark looked at the most family treasured object: me.
I knew he didn’t want to hand me over, but right now, he didn’t have a choice. I had to save the family from the Falling Stars again. This was on my shoulders.
‘I’ll do it if it saves the family. I won’t let them destroy this family whilst I’m still alive.’ I then ran to my room to find my bag.
My bag was sat at the end of my bed, so I packed it with enough supplies to last me for a little while. I came down the stairs pretty fast, thanks to my trainers that were on, even though I had my bag on my back. My walking boots should have been in that, if I’d remembered to pack them.
‘I’m still not sure about this.’ Mark sighed deeply.
‘We have no other choice. Just please, Dad, trust me.’ I looked Mark in the eyes, hoping he’d agree with me this time.
‘I can’t lose you.’ Mark blurted out, so he suddenly covered his mouth from his shock.
‘You won’t. I’ll come back. You won’t have to lose me all over again. Just please trust me on this decision. I have to save the…family.’ I walked to the family tree attached to the wall.
I pulled it down. A camera was poking through the hole behind where it was sat on the wall.
‘We’re being watched.’ I pulled the camera out the hole.
I put it on the floor and trod on it. The machine smashed. John came bounding down from his room and walked to me. He pulled me into his right side, chuckling. He knew what I’d figured out. He always did. That was the best thing about John: he was the one who always managed to understand what I was about to do before I did it.
‘You really like your sensing hidden things skill.’ John laughed, seeing the computer bits on the floor from where I trod on the camera that had been hidden in the wall.
‘That’s me, John, always ready to discover the hidden. Surely you should know that by now.’ I smirked, making John laugh even more.
Finley came down the stairs with Jacob and Matt in tow, all three of them in their TSB uniforms. We were the family unit, although I knew we were missing Harriet and Ashleigh. We weren’t as complete as they thought we were.
‘What’s going on?’ Matt noticed the note and the machine bits all over the floor.
‘The Falling Stars have made a request. They want us to hand over Amy to save us from being harmed. Amy’s willing to do that.’ John sighed, wishing I wouldn’t leave him behind like this.
‘Amy, have you fallen off your rocker?’ Jacob looked stunned, although I could see he wanted to give the Falling Stars a piece of his mind.
Both of us knew we’d lose the other if we continued to carry out this plan. We were in love with each other and we were about to be broken apart in a way we didn’t want to. I had to give myself over to save the family, even if it meant I sacrificed what future I could have had with Jacob. I just wanted him to have the best possible future, even if it meant he didn’t have me at his side.
‘No. I haven’t fallen off anything. I’m just doing what is wanted of me to do.’ I smirked, winking at him like he always did at me.
‘Is this really a good idea?’ Finley was nervous for me.
‘No, but I’m doing it anyway.’ I laughed, hoping the family wouldn’t fall apart without me.
‘You really are a little mad thing, aren’t you?’ Matt laughed.
‘That’s me! Don’t forget that. After all, I am your little sister, Matthew.’ I said.
‘That sounds like you, Amy.’ Finley smirked.
‘Oh, yeah, you can’t get rid of me that easily, brother dear.’ I laughed.
‘Where do we have to do this?’ Jacob said.
‘It doesn’t say.’ Mark sighed, reading the note again.
I looked at the note and turned it over. On the back of the note it had more writing, but it just contained three words. It read: FALLING STARS BASE.
‘Dad, we have to go to the base.’ I showed the three words.
Mark didn’t look too sure. He saw I was ready to do what I thought was right. I was living up to my motto again. Matt, Jacob, John and Finley all looked edgy about what I was going to fight for.
‘Who’s going to take you?’ Mark asked.
‘I’ll do it.’ Finley sighed, nominating himself first before anyone else could say anything.
‘I’ll go with you. I have more experience driving.’ John smirked.
‘Only cuz you’re older than me!’ Finley pointed out.
‘That’s kinda the point.’ John laughed, looking at me.
‘Are you trying to sound like me?’ I asked, raising an eyebrow.
‘I might be.’ John chuckled.
‘Just be careful when you take her. I’ll see you soon, Amy.’ Mark got his sons’ attention back from annoying me.
Mark hugged me tightly for the last time. He didn’t know that would be the last time he’d see me for a while as Ashleigh’s plan was getting into action as we spoke, not knowing how I would be affected. I was the bargaining chip, the girl who knew more than they thought she did. Only time would tell what would happen to me and this family I fought for.
‘Are you seriously that worried about me?’ I asked.
‘Yes.’ Mark rolled his eyes.
‘You’ll never lose me, Dad.’ I sighed deeply, trying to convince him.
If only what I said was true. My future was set, but I still needed to know what was going on with the state me, John and Finley were in. We still were under something, but we had to find out what. Time was running out on us.
‘Come here, trouble.’ Jacob opened his arms.
I walked into his arms, letting them wrap around me before my next mission. I didn’t want to let go. I loved him to pieces in a way I shouldn’t, but he started it. Now I have something to fight for. He got me to look up at him and he kissed my left cheek gently and then held me to him slightly tighter. He, somehow, smelt of cut grass. What had he been doing this time of the morning before he came downstairs?
‘Stay safe, if that’s possible for you.’ Jacob chuckled, winking at me like he always did.
‘Thanks for your confidence in me, Jakey.’ I laughed.
Jacob kissed my head, lingering as long as he could and slowly released me. Matt then held me tight to him, his body smelling of Coca Cola.
‘Behave alright?’ Matt smirked.
‘Which kind of behaviour would you like?’ I raised an eyebrow.
‘Behave badly.’ Matt was being his mischievous self as usual.
Finley and John led me to the car park and then we got into John’s Jeep. John got behind the wheel and Finley next to him with me in the back. We drove in silence to the Falling Stars base in Seattle, until John decided to break the silence.
‘Are you sure about this? I can turn around.’ John sighed, cutting the silence short as we reached America.
‘No. We have to. I’m not risking the TSB again.’ I was being as stubborn as usual.
The three of us got out and looked at the mouldy, falling apart base. It was just as I remembered, or maybe slightly worse.
‘We’ll go in together. Have you got your phone?’ Finley was nervous about this.
‘Yeah, I’ll be fine, trust me.’ I then led my protectors into the building.
The walls were murky and malting wallpaper. The ceiling was just as bad with holes everywhere.
‘Amy?’ John sensed my hesitant nature, so made us stop in the corridor to find out what was wrong with me.
‘What?’ I asked, curious what John saw as my worry.
‘What’s up?’ Finley asked, knowing something was on my mind.
‘I need you two to do something for me. The three of us were in that crash, remember?’ I asked, hoping they knew what I was on about.
John and Finley nodded, slightly shuddering from the memory of being hit by the van and almost dying from the impact. That was one memory none of us wished to remember.
‘I need the two of you to find out what really happened and where Callum and the real Matt are in the World. I know they’re somewhere.’ I sighed, releasing my worries.
‘We’ll do what we can.’ Finley promised.
‘John?’ I looked to my father figure.
‘We’ll do what we can, Amy. Right now, we need to know this is the right decision for you to make.’ John pointed out, hoping I’d change my mind and come home with them.
‘I hope this is the right one. Let’s go before I change my mind and get you all killed.’ I sighed deeply.
I led us forward into the main room. The main room was just as disgusting as before. The wallpaper was peeling. The floor was covered in puddles of water and slime. Two people were stood in front of us. Both of them looked pretty menacing in their full black uniform for the Falling Stars.
It was Ashleigh and Dominic.
‘You came then?’ Dominic sneered.
John held onto my right hand whilst Finley held onto my left, as if we knew we could be broken apart if we let go. I felt comfort more than they thought from that grip on my hands.
‘Don’t patronise me, Dominic. It’ll be the last thing you did otherwise.’ I growled.
‘You can go now, boys. She’s in safe hands.’ Ashleigh smiled.
John and Finley looked at each other, worry on their faces.
‘Amy?’ John asked, wanting me to say if I would be ok to be left alone with them.
I looked to my Johny. He looked into my eyes and he could see I was willing to risk everything that was ahead of me to save them and the family. He held me close and kissed my head, holding his lips to my head longer than he expected to. He released me and pointed to the locket discreetly, so I knew he was always with me in one way or another.
I could see John’s eyes were as electric blue as ever, holding the warm fire in them once more for me to be safe wherever both of us were. He didn’t want to let me go, just like Jacob didn’t back at the base. The two brothers were more connected than ever.
Finley then held me close, wishing I wouldn’t do this to the family or to him for that matter, as we were the two youngest kids on our part of the family. He felt like I was leaving him behind with nothing to remember me by. I didn’t want him to feel like this, but what could I do? No one else could take my place.
‘You’ll see me again, guys.’ I sighed deeply as Finley released me.
The two of them walked out backwards, getting their last glances at me, although I saw John wink at me just like Jacob would and then they ran out the building, leaving me with their mother and Dominic.
‘It’s time you got to know your new father.’ Ashleigh laughed.
‘Are you kidding me?!’ my jaw almost dropped.
‘No. I love him, Amelia.’ Ashleigh barked.
‘Yeah, like I haven’t heard that before, Mum! You say that about every guy you were with after you divorced Dad. It’s gotten a little bit predictable.’ I snapped.
‘You have no idea what’s going on, do you?’ Dominic laughed.
‘You’re not really here. You’re just floating around. I warned your father your imagination would be the death of you.’ Ashleigh sounded like one of those evil step-mothers you got in fairy tales like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella or an evil character close to a parent of the child concerned like Aladdin, Tangled or Sleeping Beauty.
None of those stories could have prepared me for what I was about to experience.
‘The crash really happened.’ I was in shock.
‘Oh yeah, so did your missing brothers. Miss big brothers Mattie and Cally do you?’ Ashleigh mocked.
My heart beat like a drum in my chest as somehow, I could see holograms of what they’d look like now. Callum would have been eighteen years old, whilst Matt would have been twenty-eight or twenty-nine years old.
‘They’re my brothers and you cast them out like they were nothing! I saw what you did. John and Finley know!’ I snapped as the holograms disappeared.
‘Did you really think they’d really help you? Owen’s been throwing the family off the scent for years.’ Dominic snarled.
I could remember Owen’s face, totally different to Matt’s. He didn’t even look like Harriet.
‘Stay out of this, dusch bag. This is between my mother and I.’ I almost snarled like a wild wolf at Dominic.
‘You’ve given her your temper, Ash.’ Dominic chuckled.
Dominic then started kissing Ashleigh’s neck, which made her sigh as if she was in peace.
‘Whoa, if you want her like that, maybe I should go back to the TSB, where I’m really needed.’ I felt a little grossed out, starting to back up from them.
‘Oh, Amelia, it’s not like that.’ Ashleigh laughed.
‘Enlighten me, mother.’ I raised an eyebrow.
‘Dominic’s proposed to me. We’re gonna get married.’ Ashleigh grinned.
‘You’ve not told Dad, have you?’ I knew.
‘Nope, he’s not gonna know now we have this machine on our side.’ Dominic let a sly look cover his face.
‘I don’t like the sound of this.’ I backed up a pace.
‘Amy, you know I’m doing this for you, right?’ Ashleigh smiled.
‘What kind of drivel have you been watching? Has Dominic been letting you watch Tangled again?’ I asked.
‘No! Of course not… well, maybe once or twice, but that’s not the point.’ Ashleigh snapped.
‘Yes it is cuz that’s where you’re getting these crazy ideas from! You think everything can be won over by this kind of behaviour? Nothing is achieved by it! It’s like you have something to believe in, that you can win us back by doing this. That’s not possible cuz there’s nothing to win. You’ve broken this family more than I thought you could. It’s pushing me to my limits. I can’t stand it anymore. It’s time you gave up on this crazy dream you’ve got. It’ll kill you in the end.’ I snapped.
If only I knew what I’d said was true.
The future was becoming more muddled up than I thought it would. Now the weight of the World and the TSB was on my seventeen year old shoulders, but could I hold it? Only time would tell. I loved my Jacob Thomas. After all, I was John Thomas’s little daughter.