She's not Afraid

Charlie Evergreen isn't your average 19 year old. She was taken when she was thirteen, kidnapped by some of her closest friends. She was taken to a secret compound, far in the merciless regions of the Mojave Desert.
That's when the truth came out. That almost 500 children are taken every year, mostly from poorer homes. The agency Charlie was at, had missions to retrieve those kids, to step in when the police failed.
So she joins. When she turns 19, she gets a mission. To kidnap Niall Horan, world-famous boy band star, and recruit him. How hard can it be?


31. Chapter 31


I woke up, the hospital lights glaring harshly. Little over a second after I resurfaced, the pain hit. Patches of fire dotting my body. I moan in agony, and a nurse comes over.

"You're awake! Good." She says. I don't reply, but she fills the silence "I have pain reliever for you."

She makes me take a pill the size of Alaska before she leaves. Great, I'm back in the place I hated worst. Optimum's hospital.

The nipping smell of antiseptic, the unnatural cleanliness, the sickly pallor of the patients, I hated everything about this place. I wanted to curl up and somehow teleport to my own bed, in my own dorm.

The door creaked open. I silently pray it wasn't the nurse. "Hi." I sit up, ouch. It was Chloe. "Hey." I say, my voice pitifully weak.

"Lay down." Chloe commanded, sitting in the chair next to my bed. I relax as she says "So, uhm-" I cut her off "I know I failed."

She bites her lip "There's no way that you're leaving! You're one of the finest and they'd be stupid to do that!"

I smile softly "It's protocol. And cheer up, Niall was supposed to be my last mission anyway." She sighs "I still believe it's unfair."

The door squeaked again as Emily walked in "Hi." I feel dread in my stomach, like white-hot lava falling from my abdomen to my stomach.

"I'm going to go.." Chloe trailed off. She looks at me uncertainly, and I give her a smile of reassurance. She returns it before leaving, closing the door behind her.

I shift uneasily as Emily takes Chloe's vacated seat. I hadn't seen her around since she visited me in the hospital. She was another official, and like Carter, she quickly climbed to her high position.

 That day in the hospital was a close call. I might've accidentally slip out a few words like agent, Optimum, or mission. Not to mention, the book Niall thought I was reading? That was actually an old agent handbook I had, and I was reviewing a couple things. Thank god I was able to smooth over that mistake.

"As you probably have realized, you've failed the test." Emily said carefully. I nod, casting my gaze to my lap.

"I'm going to cut to the chase, you can stay." My eyes widen "Really?" Emily chuckles "Really. The circumstances weren't in your favor anyway."

I frown "What do you mean by that?" She replies "Hanson, the trainer, is much larger then you, and he used to be in the army, in midst of war in Iraq. He's trained to execute missions, as cold blooded as possible. When he left, he still wanted to be in some sort of military, so he enlisted here."

I had no words except for "Oh.". "I warn you though, I had to pull a lot of strings to let you stay. You're skating on thin ice here, and I recommend flying under the radar for a while. Try to not get in trouble." She warns.

I laugh "When do I ever get in trouble?" She raises her eyebrows "You covered the Net in silly string, you coated eggs in chocolate and wrapped them in foil so when Kenny took a bite all he got was yolk, you injected mayonnaise in Jenna's toothpaste-"

I cut her off "Oh okay. But Kenny deserved it! He threw a spider at me! And Jenna and I were having a prank war."

Emily shrugged "From her perspective, it was bad to be honest. She didn't even prepare a prank and you hit her hard. Mayonnaise and mint are basically recipes for vomit."

I wince "Yeah that's true." She chuckles and smiles "Just be a good girl and train Niall for a while."

I nod "Okay, when can I get out of here?" Emily bites her lip "You don't have that bad of damage. No cuts or anything, just major bruising. Maybe a week or so until they release you. And you'll be sore for a while, but if you take the balm they'll give you, then that'll ease the stiffness and pain."

That sounds simple enough. I used to ski, so I was used to getting bruises. "Anything else?" I ask.

"So you aren't even fazed by the fact that you got your *ss kicked?" Emily asks. I shrug, wincing a little.

"Only you." She chortles. I roll my eyes as she says "I have to go now, but I hope I'll see you around."

"Wait!" I called. Emily turned, leaning casually against the doorframe "Hm?" "Where's Rob? I haven't seen him since I left to go recruit Niall. And he wasn't here during the Retreat either."

"He's been gone for a few months. Personal business. He didn't really clarify." Emily shrugged. I frown.

Rob didn't have any family, I knew that for sure. His wife died in childbirth, and his daughter ran away. Her name was Delilah and she was actually a close friend of mine. She met one of our suppliers, part of the crew that served as our grocers and janitors. She fell for him, and left with him, not even leaving a note. Rob was heartbroken, he had lost everything. He had become more paternal to us, so I guess he healed.

"I'll see you later." Emily called as she shut the door. I groan, laying down. The door opened, and Niall walked in.

"Hey." I said feebly. "Hi." He said softly, sitting down. "How are you feeling?" He asks. I laugh "Like I got hit by a bus to be honest."

His enormous blue eyes filled in concern "I can go ask for some painkillers of you'd like." I wave it off "No thanks, I'm a tough cookie."

"I can tell." He smiles lightly. "I can't train you for the next week." I say apologetically. "It's okay. I can ask one of the girls later." He says.

I bite my lip "Okay then. How's Louis, Haz, Liam, and Zayn?" "They're great! Harry has gotten to be stellar at knife throwing, Liam is mad at wrestling, Louis is excelling at battle strategy. He's working with a few other brainiacs to make drills and stuff for training. Zayn's always been great at drawing, right? So he actually quit training and is being groomed to work in the tattoo shop." Niall chatters.

"I'm glad to hear that they're settling in." I replied truthfully. "It was hard at first, because this place is like another planet, really. And the fans weren't too keen on us breaking up. And since we haven't been tweeting or posting pictures on Instagram. So they are cooking up the wildest stories. But none of them compare to the truth." He says sadly.

I bite my lip "D-Do you regret your decision?" He shakes his head "Nope. Not at all. It was rough, but I feel like everything is coming together. It feels good to know I'm making a difference."


I gulped nervously, staring at the school ahead of me. I was so nervous, what if all the kids were mean? What if the teacher turned out to be a witch? I don't want to be eaten for supper!

My mom takes me by the hand and leads me into a room. I gape at it, the bright and primary colors and bins overflowing with toys stupefying.

After my mom leaves, the teacher claps her hand "Okay, everyone sit in a circle." I remembered the manners Mama taught me, and I walk to an empty spot, not running. But all the other kids ran to their spots. I felt embarrassed, and looked at my lap.

"Hi." I look up at the sound of a voice. A pair of sea-green eyes meet mine. My jaw drops. Even my green crayon isn't as pretty as that green color.

"H-Hi." I stutter back. He smiles "My name's Percy, nice to meet you!" I smile too "My name's Charlie."

"Isn't that a boy's name?" He asks. I cross my arms "Nu-uh. I don't like my other name." "What's your other name?" He asks.

I smirk "It's a secret. I can't tell you a secret yet." He laughs "I'll make you tell me later. But promise to sit with me at lunch?"

"Okay." I say cheerily. He sticks out his pinky "Pinky promise?" I lock my pinky in his "I promise on my pinky."

Thrashing like a fish caught in a net, I woke up. Panting, I survey my surroundings, trying form a coherent thought.

I really hated these dream flashbacks. Percy was dead, there's nothing I could do about it. But the mere images of him have haunted me for seven years, ever since I was taken at the age of twelve and had my first mission at the age of thirteen.

I wished I could just forget. Maybe amnesia would be the cure to all my problems. I could forget, just like that. A snap of the fingers, or maybe a bad concussion would solve everything. A fall would be instant, right?

I had to get out of here. I was suffocating. It was like I was trapped in a small closet, locked with no way out. Then I'd have to break down the door.

I get out of bed and slide to the door. I was barefoot, and wearing a long hospital nightgown. Thank god it didn't have a hole where my butt was.

My feet were silent as I padded down the hall. Everything was dark, and the shadows seemed to be leering at me from the corners.

I finally make it out of the infirmary, and into a dimly lit tunnel. I just kept walking, taking no sense in direction.

I finally just decided to find an empty dorm to kip in for the night. I was in that dreamlike state of dormancy, the awkward minutes before you fully fall asleep.

I found a green door, the mark of a dorm. There was a light layer of dust coating the doorknob, so I assumed no one was in it.

Yawning, I opened the door. But the room was not empty. A man was facing me, deeply engrossed in a file he was holding.

I clear my throat, hoping the guy was an some random official. He looked up, his gray eyes bloodshot. I gasp, very audibly "R-Rob?"

He smiles "Hey Lottie." I wince at the nickname "The name's Charlie." He chuckles "Your real name is Charlotte, so I can call you Lottie."

I blink, trying to wrap my mind around this "What are you doing here?" He chuckles "I live here."

I shake my head, frowning "I realize that, but I haven't seen you in months. Emily said you were on some personal business."

"I came back an hour ago. Due to the lateness of the hour, I decided to not bother anyone and turn in." He replies evenly.

"Okay then... may I ask why were you gone for so long?" I say. His eyes darken "That's not something I want to talk about."

"Oh okay. Good night, sir." I backtrack. "Oh Charlie?" He calls as I was about to leave. "Hm?" I ask.

"So, how's things with Niall?" He smirks. I freeze "G-Good." "You were supposed to date him. So, does he hate you now for lying to him?" He deadpans.

I cross my arms "That's not something I want to talk about." He laughs "I guess you're still the same?"

I give a shaky, uncertain laugh. "Bye." I say shortly as I leave. It took me fifteen minutes before I could navigate back to my bed. It was nice seeing Rob again though.


"Wake up!" I hear a voice call. The sharpness and urgency of their tone rouses me in a second "Whassa matter?" I say, my voice slurred by sleep.

I open my eyes to see a very frazzled looking Sara. "Something terrible happened?" She howls.

"Calm down and tell me!" I say, worry bouncing in my stomach. She sits on the edge of my bed "I'm so sorry for sounding like a crazy person, first off, But second off, everything's gone."

"What do you mean?" I ask, trying to remain calm. "This morning, all computer files were stolen. All the cases ever solved, gone. We have paper versions of some of it, but not a lot."

"How were they stolen?" I ask. "Someone must've came with a thumb drive and transferred the files. We saw that a thumb drive was inserted, according to computer history. And afterwards, everything left in Optimum's system was wiped out."'

"All fifteen years worth?" I ask slowly. She nods "Yeah." I let out a long, deep whistle "What about the security cameras?"

"That's the most unusual part. Someone with great archery skills shot an arrow through the wired portion of the cameras, successfully disabling them." Sara recites.

"Elite arrows. Only Gary, Rose, Acacia, and Landon have access to them." I say. She shakes her head "I know they're the only ones capable of doing that, but their roommates have confirmed that they didn't leave their rooms."

"So, what now?" I ask. She shrugs "We'll work to resupply it all." Something hits me. Rob. "I think I know who did it!" I blurt.

"How?" Sara says, excitement leaking into her voice. "I couldn't sleep last night, so I went for a walk. I found an empty dorm, and Rob was there."

I pause, remembering my initial image of Rob. "Rob had a file! A paper file and was flipping through it! He did it!" I proclaim, positively bursting with emotion.

Sara looks at me, her wide brown eyes filled with concern "I'm sorry, but that can't be possible." I frown "Why not?"

She takes a deep breath "Rob's still away, and if he came back last night, he would've checked in."

"He said he didn't want to disturb anyone..." I trail off. "That doesn't sound like the stickler for rules I knew as Rob." Sara said gently.

"B-But I have to tell Emily! Or Carter! An official has to know!" I stammer. Sara sighs "It's best if we keep this between us. If someone knew you were out and about when the crime happened, you're a viable suspect."

"M-Me?" I falter. Sara nods, serious as can be "Look, I trust you and I believe you. But I'm trying to be realistic here. It's a chance you shouldn't take. Nobody will believe that Rob did it."

"He did do it!" I say hotly. Sara nods "Okay, but there's always the question of Why did he do it? He helped build this place with Phil, why would he harm it?"

I cross my arms "I understand that Optimum is strictly covert, but now, all the secrecy is making things complicated."




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