Sloppy. I punched the bag. I, Zachary Goode, was getting sloppy. I danced around the room I had shared with Grant and Jonas since seventh grade. Each dorm was built to accommodate four beds, we only had three so we had a full corner of our room dedicated too basic work out stuff, much to Jonas's dismay.
She had beaten me, twice. Sure the first time she was in disguise, but the second time she sat right there next to me, no disguise, in her school uniform. In a skirt. And I didn't notice. I never really understood how Cammie felt when I had beaten her, but now that the tables were turned, I understood. She had taken it too far, she humiliated me in a way I never would've humiliated her.
"Zach! Zach! You're gonna kill my bag!" Grant ran in and restrained me. I snapped back to reality. I was on the ground, straddeling the bag, punching it as hard as I could. My knuckles were bloody. "We have class in a few, you better hurry." He let me go. I stood and pulled on my shirt and blazer before following him out the door.
"We are going to start some of you off in this class." We stood outside a room with a little plaque beside it reading 'Countries of the World.' Dr. Steve glanced down at his clipboard, then proceeded to take several of our classmates into the room, introduce them and find them guides. We moved on to other classes, each time some of my sisters left the group. "Ms. Sutton, come with me." Dr. Smith led Lizzie into the Research and Development Lab.
Moments later he was back and leading Bex and I farther down the hall until we came to a mirror. Dr. Smith placed both palms on the door and a artificial voice called out, "Identification: Dr. Sanders. New operatives?"
"Place your palms on the screen." He said to us, "Answer the questions."
The surface around Bex's hands glowed and the voice called out, "Name?"
"Rebecca Baxter." Granted she hated Rebecca, but that was how she was register in the Gallagher Academy data base so it was the name the mirror would accept.
"Rebecca Baxter. The Dutchess. Point of Origin: London England. Daughter of Abe and Grace Baxter, MI6." It went on giving stats about Bex. It was unsettling how this machine seemed to know it all.
The process repeated with me, answering all the same questions, "Thank you. Enter." The mirror slid open revealing an elevator. We stepped in and immediately felt the floor moving downwards.
"You two will be starting here in the Covert Operations sophomore class with Agent Townsend. We will get you guides who will accompany you around school for your first few days." The doors opened to a sad dim room. Somewhere I could hear water dripping onto the stone floor, or the stone walls, or something stone. "Agent Townsend I have a couple new students here for your class, do you mind if they introduce yourselves and get their guides."
"Actually I do." I agent dismissed him before turning back to his board.
"Than I'll make it quick." Bex said, shooting the rude man a if-looks-could-kill glare, "Bex Baxter. Codename Dutchess. Obviously CoveOps track. Any takers?"
"Get over here British Bombshell." Grant was in the class, and of course, Zach was there next to him. Zach seemed to send Grant a message without even looking at him because Grant looked at Zach and said, "Some of us are secure enough to admit we think a girl is hot." I felt the blood rise to my cheeks, but Zach didn't move an inch, just stared straight ahead, the only boy paying any attention to Agent Jerk's ongoing lesson.
Dr. Steve prodded me with his elbow, "Oh! I'm Cammie Morgan. My codename is the Chameleon. And, like everyone here, I'm on the Covert Operations track."
"Would everyone care to help Ms. Morgan out?" Dr. Steve asked the room.
Every eye in the room, except for the agent's, fell on Zach who stared unflinchingly at the board. No one said a word for a minute until the boy from breakfast spoke, "I'll take her." I made my way to the boy, feeling a bit betrayed. I took the seat next to him, behind Zach, "My name's Jake."
"Cammie." I smiled at the boy. He had wavy blonde hair and striking blue eyes. He looked like the stereotypical surfer boy.
"Now that the distractions are over, time for you ladies to earn your keep." Agent Townsend spun around from the board eyeing Bex, "Most expensive watch in the room. What make and which boy?"
"The is a fake Vacheron on you, so depending on what you paid for it... but there is also a real Rolex on the boy two rows over from me, one seat back." The man looked embarrassed, I guess no one ever called him on it.
"Cameron. Back at the baseball game, who was the third batter of the other team in the fourth inning."
"Michael Jow." I didn't miss a beat.
"Could you boys have answered that question?" Silence, but I swear, it looked like Zach was smirking, then again, I could only see the back of his head, "Didn't think so. Which is why I allowed for this intrusion." So we were an intrusion? How sweet.
The rest of the lesson passed quickly, after all, they were covering basic counter-surveillance techniques, something we had covered last year, maybe even the year before that. When the bell rang, Jake took to his feet extending his hand to me and helping me up, a nice gesture. "So, are you and Zach together? Or are you fair game?"
"Well, I'm not with Zach. That answer your questions?" I answered him. He seemed decent, but that didn't mean I wanted to be with him.
The rest of the day passed easily. Most Blackthorne classes were the same as ours. They had even started a Culture and Assimilation class after the exchange. I was standing in the dinner line, waiting to get what passed as food around here when I felt a little tug on my skirt. I spun around, no one was there, until I look down. There was a little boy with dark, dark brown hair and equally dark eyes. He had probably only just hit double digits, if that. "Hi, I'm Ronnie. I'm ten."
I giggled to myself before crouching down beside him, "I'm Cammie. I'm sixteen." I smiled warmly at the little boy, "What can I do for you?"
"You're one of Zach's friends right?" The little boy looked down at me with his big dark eyes.
"I was, ya." I smiled.
"Not anymore though?" He asked, cocking his head.
"I don't think he likes me anymore." I glanced down before meeting the boy's eyes again.
"You know, I might only be ten, but I understand a lot. I hear the guys talking when the think no one can, they still see me as the five year old I was when they came here. He talked about you, a lot, ever since they came back from the exchange. You should go talk to him."
"I don't think he wants me to." I muttered.
"Zach!" The boy yelled. I tried to silence his repeated calls while watching as Zach turned his head away from the tray he was hunched over.