Zach shined his flashlight in the direction of the voice, revealing Todd Lyons, Claire's younger brother. Our jaws dropped. Todd?! I had never even thought to pay attention to him. Were he and Claire working together?
"Took you long enough," he laughed with a smug look on his face, "Take a seat."
He motioned to the floor in front of us as he began to sit down, but Zach was on him before he had a chance. Zach pinned him against the wall.
"How do you know who we are," he pressed in a calm but forceful tone.
"I mean no harm, I promise," Todd insisted, "I'm not trying to destroy you, I'm trying to join you."
"Join us?" Zach asked, puzzled.
"I want to become a spy," he explained, "Everything I've done is to prove myself. When I discovered the school I knew I had to do something to get myself noticed. It's not like you can just submit an application online. So I lured you to me instead."
Zach and I glanced at each other. It was extreme and hard to fathom but not impossible that he was telling the truth. To my knowledge no one had ever discovered the school before, but maybe that's because no one was really looking. Zach let go of Todd, but stayed standing.
"How did you do it?" I asked.
"I knew there had to be something like this – the CIA needed to start thinking bigger, to find the most unexpected operatives and to start training earlier so they could be ready at the peak of their time. I've always been observant and curious, stuck in a 'perfect' world and looking for the imperfections. There was something about Gallagher Academy that didn't sit right when I found it and things that didn't line up quite perfectly when I dug more. Trust me living here has taught me plenty about privileged private schools and privileged private school girls. I hacked into the system and found the list, leaving a trace behind so you would know where to find me."
He had hacked into our system? An ordinary, middle school boy had hacked into databases protected by CIA codes? Damn that was impressive.
"How did you know it was us?" I questioned.
"Well I sure wasn't expecting you to show up at the Block Estate – it's like you were hand fed to me. But I knew pretty much immediately. The timing was right and it was so random that you moved here with no family," he responded, "Plus I saw you sneaking around the estate acting cozier than siblings…"
He winked and I felt my cheeks turn a deep shade of red.
"How did you find out about Blackthorne?" Zach asked.
"Is that your school? I figured there must be a guy version, but I didn't know for sure until you showed up with Cammie and until you spilled the beans just now," Todd laughed.
"Dammit," Zach yelped, but he was smiling too.
"Is Claire involved?" I inquired.
"Nah, I planted the folder and key in her room hoping you would find it," he said, "You, not Zach, but I'm glad it worked out anyway."
"I have to say I'm impressed," Zach admitted. I nodded in agreement. He pulled out his phone, "I'll see what I can do."
A few minutes later it was settled.
"Welcome to the big leagues Todd Lyons," I smiled, "You're a Blackthorne Boy now."
A/N: The end! Thanks so much for reading!