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Born to spy, p.11
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       Born to Spy, p.11

           Jayde Scott
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"Now, carry him to the parking lot," I said. "Move slowly and steady. Keep your hands where I can see them."

  I stood too, walking a few feet behind Stewart, all the while scanning the garden for Mr. Richards. The gravel crunched beneath our feet as we ambled toward the fence. Eventually, we reached a parked car. I tried the door but it was locked.

  "Danny, pat him down and get his phone," I said.

  He nodded and searched Stewart's jacket. "Got it."

  I breathed out, relieved. "Okay. Call the police."

  Danny dialled and spoke into the receiver, giving instructions, as I kept an eye on Stewart.

  "Who are you really?" Stewart hissed.

  "Spies," I said, smiling.

  Behind me, someone cocked a revolver and I heard Mr. Richards' voice. "Drop your gun."

  "Houston, we have a problem," Danny said.

  I spun slowly, my heart thumping again. How could I have been so stupid and forget to mind my back? What kind of spy was I? A slipup like this could get us all killed.

  Stewart dropped Dad. He knocked the gun out of my hand and it flew somewhere in the weeds. My eyes searched the area, but it was like finding a needle in the haystack. I made a huge mistake by losing the gun, but I figured it was okay because Bernie still had his.

  "Shoot, Bernie!" Danny yelled.

  Bernie just stood there, frozen to the spot, his hands trembling. Obviously, he wasn't the best choice for a sidekick. With a nickname like Bobin who could blame the guy?

  "What kind of rent-a-cop are you? Shoot!" Hilly screamed. "I'm not visiting Davy Jones' Locker because salt water wreaks havoc on my hair."

  Stewart charged Bernie, tackling him like a quarterback. He grabbed his gun as Bernie hit the ground and rolled. Oh, Bernie. Why did he have to eat so many fries? He only had a million fast food wrappers in his car. What was it with our crappy luck? Now we had no weapons, except Hilly's nails and high-heels.

  Mr. Richards laughed. "Looks like we have the upper hand now. You all have a date with a bunch of fishies deep in the blue sea." He frowned at Danny. "And you. How did you break out of Shady Brook's, you nutcase?"

  "Being normal is overrated." Danny shrugged. "Hey, can we talk about that date thing with the fishies? Tonight doesn't really work for me."

  "I don't think cement shoes are very fashionable with my outfit," Hilly said. "I mean grey is so yesterday, you know."

  I nodded at Danny, hoping he got the picture. We weren't going to check out of Ireland like this. Still, what could three teens and a goofball do against two armed gunmen? We were beyond screwed. Royally. Just like our royal wardrobe.

  Mr. Richards smiled. "Your father will be the first to go." He kicked Dad in the leg and aimed the gun at his head. "Maybe next time you'll mind your own business. Goodbye, Mr. Gonzo."

  My heart pounded and I gasped. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be. "No!" I yelled.

  With lightning speed, Dad jumped up and grabbed Mr. Richards in a choke hold. What an awesome spy move, indeed. I couldn't be prouder of Dad. Mr. Richards toppled to the ground. By the time he'd wake up, the police would be here.

  I hugged Dad, but it was far from over.

  Stewart laughed. "Well, we know one thing. I didn't hit you hard enough. You've only been out a few days. How's the headache? Seeing stars?"

  "You're so going to pay for that," Dad said.

  "I don't think so since I'm the one holding rent-a-cop's gun. You are the stupidest spy I've ever met." He shook his head and pointed at me. "And so is Junior here."

  "Stupid? I found you, didn't I?" I said.

  "Now, Mr. Gonzo—" Stewart waved the gun at Dad "—once I'm done with you I'll hunt down your partner. It's been fun, but as you know, all good things must come to an end." He aimed the gun and pulled the trigger.

  Chapter 15

  Everything happened in slow motion like a movie being played out in front of me. I jumped to take Dad's bullet because that's what a good spy would do. Besides, I loved him and the kitchen needed him also. I prepared for the impact of the bullet and hoped it didn't hurt too badly. Then again, I wasn't a wuss. I would die like a man, hoping Dad wouldn't miss me too much. I wondered if my mum would be the one to take me to heaven. I hoped so because I sure missed her.

  A stream of water hit me square in the forehead. Dad jumped into action and did some fancy karate move to Stewart's shoulder knocking the thief out cold.

  I laughed as I wiped my face. Bernie's weapon was nothing but a prank gun—the ones that look real but only squirt water. No way. I should be dead. Maybe this spy thing was for me after all because I was doing really well.

  Dad's eyes widened and he ran his hands across my head and face to examine me. "If anything would've happened to you, I could've never lived with myself."

  Danny ran over and hugged me. "It wasn't a real gun. Holy cow."

  "Carry a real gun?" Bernie asked. "Heck, no! They give me the heebie jeebies. I just wanted to pretend and look the part. Bought it at a spy shop. Am I the worst superhero ever?"

  Hilly came over and hugged him. Now I knew it for sure, aliens had messed with her brain. "No, you're the best one ever. I think we're going to promote you." She patted down the unconsciousness Stewart and stole a mint.

  "Where's the phone?" Dad asked. "I've got to call my partner and let her know I'm okay."

  "It's in the bushes," Danny said. "I'll go look, Mr. Gonzo."

  Dad ruffled his hair. "Thanks for everything, guys. You all did a great job."

  "We'd do it all over again." Danny beamed at me and went to search for the phone.

  Minutes later, sirens echoed in the distance.

  A woman ran up to us. "Ms. Reeves?" I shook my head. What was my art teacher doing here?

  She smiled and turned toward Dad. "What happened, Gonzo? We were scared to death. Every single agent on the continent is out hunting for you." She handed us all a water bottle. Dad took a swig and then poured some over his head.

  "I'll explain everything. I just need a minute with my—" His voice trailed off.

  "Your son?" Ms. Reeves winked at me.

  "My hero," Dad finished.

  "Ms. Reeves, why are you here when you teach the art class?" Danny asked, giving up on looking for the phone.

  "I hate art. I couldn't draw a straight line using a ruler. Actually, I'm an undercover agent." Ms. Reeves retrieved two pairs of handcuffs and snapped them across Mr. Richards's wrists, then moved on to Stewart. "Your dad and I planned this whole operation to get these art crooks who have been stealing paintings from museums and replacing them with fakes for months. They were going to get the Mona Lisa soon." She frowned. "Alex, you never turned up at the hotel."

  "I couldn't board the flight because someone followed me to the airport. I had to drive a rental here, so I arrived late," Dad said. "Mr. Richards found my interest in the Mona Lisa strange and warned Stewart who then kidnapped me before I could check into the hotel."

  "The police are here," Hilly said.

  "Let's go home." Dad shook his head. "Hundreds of agents are looking for me with no success. You did what they couldn't. I should be mad because you could've gotten killed, but you saved my life so I won't ground you." He punched me playfully in the arm. "Looks like you're a chip off the old block, huh?"

  "I love you, Dad," I said.

  "I love you too, Thom. I'm glad you didn't think I'd desert you because I never would. Not in a million years."

  I grinned. "I told everyone that, Dad."

  "Did you burn down the house?" A frown formed between Dad's brows.

  "Nah, but I hope you don't mind stepping in a sea of peanut butter and jelly," I said.

  Dad chuckled. "That's why they invented mops."

  We both burst out in laughter.

  Chapter 16

  A week later, life had almost returned to normal. Dad still carried a few cuts and bruises, but otherwise he seemed okay. He didn't even mind changing the damaged lock on the basement door, or that I used his credit car
d to pay for first class.

  Danny and Hilly's mum didn't suspect a thing and agreed to let them go camping with us again in the future. She didn't question why Hilly would come back from a camping trip carrying countless shopping bags. Maybe she figured Hilly would always find a place to spend money.

  Hilly caught up with her boyfriend and they have been in a lip-lock ever since...well, until I went over there with a crowbar and pried them apart. I had to because on Saturday morning Dad invited her, Danny and me out to show his appreciation for saving his life and all. I expected lunch at the local Burger King. When we drove all the way to London I thought he might have a fancier place in mind, like Pizzahut.

  "Where are we going?" Danny asked as Dad pulled up in a parking lot on a side street.

  Dad motioned us to get out. We crossed the street and he placed a blindfold over our heads. "Everyone hold hands."

  "Do I have to hold the trolls' hands?" Hilly asked.

  Danny snorted. "Stop pretending. I know you actually like me because you didn't make a run for the hills in that hotel."

  "You wish," Hilly said. "I just thought if I came home without you Mum would kick me so hard, I'd land into next week then slide into next month and roll into next year before I came to a stop."

  "You called him 'little brother'." I laughed. "That means you love him, and I'll tell everyone on Facebook."

  Chuckling, Dad tied the blindfolds at the back of our heads and we ambled down the street.

  "Mr. Gonzo, I didn't know we were going to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey," Hilly said. "If you hand me a tail with a tack, I know where to stick it. Hey, Thom, are you around?"

  Oh no, she wasn't. I covered my butt with one hand. "Hey, Dad, you smell that rank odour? Cover Hilly's mouth with one of those blindfolds and we'll all thank you."

  "Yeah," Danny said. "It'll be like an automatic air deodorizer."

  I laughed even though I wished I could take Hilly's side for a change because she doesn't really have bad breath.

  "We're here," Dad said, pushing us through a door into a cool room.

  I sniffed the air, but I couldn't smell the pizza.

  "Hey, Mr. Gonzo," Hilly said. "Since we know so much, you're not whacking us, are you?"

  Danny let out a whimper. "I won't sing like a canary. I promise."

  "It's too late to take you back. Now's the time for all of you to get what you deserve. I'm sorry but orders are orders," Dad said. "I have to follow this thing through. Sometimes things happen that you don't expect."

  My heart sank. All that whacking talk gave me the shivers.

  "Mr. Gonzo." Hilly's voice quivered. "I only used your credit card once, I swear. Okay, maybe twice. But I'll totally pay you back if you want me to. Please don't shoot. This shirt cost me a small fortune and will look horrible with bullet holes."

  "Don't think your brain will look good with bullet holes either," I said.

  Dad laughed. "Okay, guys, you can remove your blindfolds."

  Holding my breath, I peeled the black cloth from my eyes and gasped. Right before me stretched a large room with a shiny floor and huge candelabras. People in fancy dress, holding glasses, stood to either side of a narrow red carpet that led to a podium.

  "What's going on?" I whispered.

  A tall man with a huge moustache climbed onto the podium and started speaking in a microphone. "Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome our newest members." He held out his palm toward us.

  Dad pushed me forward whispering, "Go on."

  Hesitating, I marched down the red carpet with Hilly and Danny behind me. The people around us started to clap their hands.

  "I'm Dr Hodgkin," the man with the moustache said. "And I can smell talent from a mile. You've been admitted to the Royal Spy Academy, but since you've successfully accomplished your first mission you're entitled to your temporary spy diplomas until you pass the Academy."

  I gasped. "Are you saying—"

  Hilly pushed me aside. "Do I get a credit card?"

  Dr Hodgkin frowned and nodded. "You must be Hilly. It's a pleasure meeting you. If you want a credit card, then by all means, you'll have one."

  "Good. And I want his too." Hilly pointed to Danny. "Because he's too young and I'm the responsible one."

  I burst out in laughter, but stopped when I saw her angry face.

  "Please step forward for your diplomas." Dr Hodgkin sounded much nicer than on the phone, but his booming voice still gave me the shudders. "Thomasius Anastasius—"

  I cringed. Danny interrupted him, "Whoa, trust me you'd rather call him Thom."

  "Very well. Thom Gonzo, I hereby welcome you to the Academy as the youngest member ever." Dr Hodgkin leaned forward and whispered, "Your Dad's so proud of you."

  While he repeated the same words with Danny and Hilly, I beamed at Dad and Ms Reeves standing next to him. Dad smiled at me and gave me the thumbs up sign. I turned and noticed Bernie emerging from the crowd. Dr Hodgkin motioned him to join us on the podium.

  Bernie accepted his certificate. A tear slipped down his face as he hugged it tight and pointed to us. "I owe all of this to Batman, Batgirl and Robin."

  The audience laughed.

  "Cool code names, indeed," Bernie said. "Since Robin was taken, mine was Bobin. Anyway, without these guys my dream would've never come true." He looked at me and I knew it was coming—a bear hug. He hugged me tight and yelled, "I love you!"

  Everyone clapped.

  "Well done," Dad said.

  I grinned. Who needed Dad's identity when I had my own? From now on I was no longer Alex Gonzo. I was Thom Gonzo, Royal Spy.


  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16



  Jayde Scott, Born to Spy



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