At Any Cost | Book One of Exafortespent

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Summary

Her life was fine as a teenager until the chief of her father walks into the house. And now, her ordinary life's becoming exciting yet dangerous. Sophie Reynolds is an ordinary teenage girl. Her life is just as boring as any other high school students. But it all changes when his father's chief comes walking into her house. She has to move to another city, deal with Matthew Williams and get what she needs. But everything's starting to get out of control and complicated. A lot of drama starting to fill her life and she has to take a serious action on the main reason she's there.

Genre:
Action / Drama
Author:
Alma Azura Celia
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
54
Rating:
5.0 4 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

One: What?!

This chapter has been rewritten

What’s the best thing to do on a Sunday morning? Well, most of you would probably answer the question by sleeping in or lazying around. But for me, Sunday morning is the best time to practice my fighting skills. I usually wake up very early in the morning, like ‘five in the morning’ early. (That’s not true. I most often wake up at seven. But seven in the morning is still early, right?) And as soon as I’m awake, I eat some breakfast and go down to the house gym to practice. Boxing, to be exact. Because who doesn’t like to punch a punching bag, especially when you’re so fucking angry? Better let that pent up anger go by beating up a bag full of sand.

I slam both of my fists one after another relentlessly as I move my body swiftly, pretending I’m fighting against another person. Right jab, left jab, slip, and right hook! I keep throwing blow after blow at the punching bag, sweat beads rolling down my temple and neck. No mercy is given at the innocent punching bag by me. My arms muscle burns, my knuckles ache, but I keep pushing myself to punch. In each punch, the strength and the pace intensified.

“Sophie!” I abruptly stop my frenzied punch mid-air as I whirl my body around. My green eyes search the sound source until they lock with a pair of my father’s blue eyes.

I stare at my dad with exhaustion and confusion mixed in my body. The loud thumping of my heart and my rapid breathing are making it harder for me to think of any reason why he’s down here. It’s been a long time since he watches me practising my fighting skills, like five months ago, because he said that I’ll be fine on my own now that he knows I can handle myself.

Dad stands there under the doorframe with his arms crossed over his chest. He stares at me rigidly as he keeps his gaze on mine. He’s in his serious mode. There must be something important. And my gut feeling tells me that it is very, very important.

“Get some shower. Mr Warren will be here soon.” Something in his voice tells me that Mr Warren is here for one hell of a serious thing. But what’s so important that he’s coming by our house? What does it have to do with me, anyway? It’s not like I have anything to do with my father’s and Mr Warren’s job. So, why should I be there to meet Mr Warren?

Lost in thoughts, I don’t realize that dad’s already out of the room as I bring my gaze up from the floor. I let out a sigh, grabbing my water bottle and flinging my towel over my shoulder as I walk out of the gym.

I step out of the shower, feeling refreshed from the exhausting practice I’ve had earlier. I dry my body from any excess water and wrap the almost soaking wet towel around my torso as I step in front of the mirror. I stare at the person on the other side of the mirror, frowning.

Is it really my reflection, or is it another person on the other side of the mirror? What if whoever-the-hell-is-it-in-the-mirror want to switch place with me, and no one else would know about that as I can’t escape from the other side? Like I’ll be stuck in the mirror to death. Hell no, stop thinking about what isn’t real, Sophie.

I shake the strange thought off my mind and focus my gaze back on my reflection. I plug in the hairdryer and begin to dry my hair mindlessly as I hum out a song. I keep ruffling my hair as I direct the hot air from the hairdryer towards my hair. When I feel my hair dries up already, I switch off the hairdryer and stare into my reflection. My eyes widen as I stare back into myself in the mirror. My hair turns out to be puffy. Like a lion hair!

Yikes.

I grimace at myself, contemplating what to do with my puffy blonde hair. I gather my hair and put it into a sloppy, messy bun.

Much better. You could say I look adorable with this hairstyle. (No judging, please. I AM adorable!)

I walk into my closet, staring at the neatly placed clothing articles around me. With my fist tucked under my chin, I search through my clothes for what to wear for the day. I decided to wear a navy blue jumper and a pair of skinny black jeans. It’s not like I’ll be going anywhere than lounging around the house so, it’s quite good.

I take my phone with me as I jog down the stairs, thinking of what to do to waste my time before Mr Warren arrives. I end up going to the living room, turning on the TV, before lying down on the sofa. I check on my phone and stare at the screen wide-eyed.

Woah, 38 messages and 4 missed calls from Claire?! What in the world just happened to her?

I tap on her contact and dial her number, not even bothered to check on her previous messages. I wait for her to pick up the call, biting my lower lip anxiously.

Ringggg. Ringggg. Ringggg. Ringggg. Ring-

“Sophie!” My body jerks from the sudden loud yell from Claire. I let out a sigh, hearing a faint ringing in my ear. “Claire, can you please not yell?” I sigh.

“I’m sorry.” Claire apologizes, and I can hear the guilty smile in her voice. “But Cody is in the ER!” She shouts in panic, and I can imagine her pacing back and forth in the hallway of the hospital as she bites her fingernail or lower lips anxiously.

Again? For the hundredth times? What happened to him now? He always makes everyone worried. I hope he’s going to be okay.

“What happened this time?”

“He was in the bathroom and slipped from the wet floor. He got his head slammed against the sink.” Claire explains the incident, her voice shaky from panic and anxiety. “That’s what his mother told me.” She sniffles sadly. A frown appears on my face at the sound. I wish I’m there with her now to comfort her and tell her Cody’s going to be fine since he’s survived many accidents in his whole life.

“I’m sorry about that, but you don’t have to worry about him. He’s gone through this kind of shit many times. And he’ll survive this one too,” I tell her reassuringly.

“Yeah, you’re right.” She chuckles a little, and I smile at it.

“I want to go there now, but dad wants me to meet someone. I’ll be there as soon as I can, okay?”

“Okay. See you soon, Sophie.” Claire sniffles quietly, and I sigh at the sound. “I’ll see you soon.” I end the call, frowning sadly.

Well, allow me to tell you a bit about Cody.

Cody is one of my best friends, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, he’s also Claire’s boyfriend, as you can see from the concern she has towards him. And you can say that he’s the most clumsy person in the group.

Cody has been in many accidents in his whole life. From the mild ones to severe ones. Too many to count. But they’re mostly mild injuries. The most unbelievable thing is, he’s still until this day. But of course, I’m glad he’s still alive, and also is my best friend.

My eyes are getting heavier as my consciousness begins to slip away from my body. And I feel sleepier than before-

“Hey! Wake up! Mr Warren is here.” Dad taps my shoulder harshly a few times, waking me up from my almost sleeping state.

Ah, such bad timing, dad.

I almost fall asleep and then get disturbed! What kind of person wakes someone else’s up from their sleep? A lot of people. For example, the teachers. They’re the worst at that one. Not to mention the detention they gave us after school. It’s one of the hell made on earth.

I pull myself to sleep, stretching my arms over my head as I let out a yawn through my wide-open mouth. How lady-like of me.

I wait for Mr Warren and dad to walk into the room. And I keep my still heavy eyes at the entrance of the living room. They finally step into the room, and I stand to my feet, greeting Mr Warren with a polite smile.

“Hello, Sophie. It’s been a long time. How are you doing? You’re doing great in school?” Mr Warren politely asks as he shakes my hand firmly.

“Hello, Mr Warren. I’m doing fine, and school is also just fine.” I keep my smile on my face, and Mr Warren nods at my answer. “Good to hear that.”

Dad motions to Mr Warren to have a seat. Mr Warren sits on the armchair while Dad and I seat on the sofa next to each other. I fixed my gaze on Mr Warren, staring at him expectantly as I still wonder about what the hell am I doing here with Mr Warren and Dad.

“Okay.” Mr Warren lets out a breath as he shuffles through the piles of files in his lap. He finally finds the file he’s looking for and brings his gaze up to stare into my eyes. And damn, the severe seriousness in his eyes scares me shitless.

“I’m here to tell you something very, very important,” Mr Warren begins as his light blue eyes gaze into my eyes intently.

My attention shifts unconsciously towards my mind, and I still can’t stop pondering about what does something so important has to do with me. I mean, I’m no one important so, why tell me something important? There is no denying that it’s mad important, especially from someone like Mr Warren.

“Yes?” I tilt my head to the side slightly, staring back into Mr Warren’s eyes with curiosity. He breathes out through his nose, sitting straighter in his seat. “I’ll tell you the reason I’m here.” He pauses, still staring at my confused face with his rigid one.

Stop stalling and spit it out already!

“I want you to go undercover. Be a spy under my command.”

Perplexed by his statement, I stare at him with wide eyes as a grin appears on his once serious expression.

Wait. What?! Go undercover?! Be a spy?! Holy shit, this is like a dream of mine coming true. But the real question is, why me? I mean, there are people out there who are more capable and can handle the job well. And don’t I have to be in an agency first, and first of all, pass a goddamn test? Hell, I’m no one but a high schooler. I barely have any knowledge and training about going undercover, although I want to be one just like dad.

Oh, hell no, this has to be a joke.

I turn to dad, and he stares back at me with the same confusion I have on my face. He shrugs and seems as bewildered as I am. I turn my gaze back towards Mr Warren and chuckle nervously. “Uh, what? Me? Undercover?”

Mr Warren nods at me. “Yes. You.”

They must be joking right now. There’s no way all of this is real.

“Mr Warren, it’s an honour to be offered the job. But I don’t think I have the capability to go through your wish. I can’t do so, considering I haven’t gone through proper training. I can’t be a spy. I don’t even know how to act like one moreover be one,” I state bluntly. And the thought of how Mr Warren and dad made this joke runs in my head endlessly.

“I know you haven’t gotten any proper training, but I already have one person in mind to do the thing.” Mr Warren smiles. I raise my eyebrows at him. “And that is?”

“Your father, of course.” Mr Warren gestures his hand towards dad as he grins, and I turn to dad, only to see him looked as shocked as I do. He stares back at me and then shrugs, bringing his attention back to Mr Warren.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t think she’s ready for the field just yet. And my training alone won’t be enough to get her ready for the job.” Dad frowns at Mr Warren.

“You don’t have to worry about that, Tyler. She has a month to train.”

“A month?! Sir, that won’t be enough time for her. I’ve trained and learned for years to be capable in my job. I don’t want to endanger my daughter by putting her in a vulnerable spot.”

“I know Sophie is intelligent. She’ll be able to learn a lot of skills within a month. And Tyler, you’re one of my best agent. I’m sure you can train Sophie to be one of the best new agent.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Sophie, the reason I want you, in this case, is because our target’s son is the same age as you.”

And that, Mr Warren, doesn’t explain the slightest bit of this important thing, sir.

“Okay.” I sigh, straightening my posture. “So, what is my task?” I ask, although my mind still confused as fuck about this sudden job offer. It feels like something is wrong with my brain, like in one of Spongebob Squarepants’ episodes when everything in his brain goes chaotic as fuck. I feel fucked up.

“You’ll be transferred and start your next school year in Harrington Academy. While studying there, you have to gather some information from Matthew Williams.” Mr Warren slides a file across the table smoothly, and I stop it in front of me. I take the file and fold it open, staring at the picture attached to the top left of the file.

I look at all the photos of Matthew Williams, taking in his physical features. He has light brown hair, a pair of deep blue eyes that I can’t stop staring into, and a perfectly build body. He’s not bad.

“The agency already has some information about his parents selling illegal drugs. But not convincing enough to give us a permit to arrest them yet. Matthew’s parents have a medicine and medical equipment company so, it’s going to be hard work to find evidence in the midst of legal drugs and medicine.

“Matthew’s parents have a lot of connection, including spies of their own, according to the agents I’ve sent to them before. So, you have to be careful when associating with him.” I nod in understanding as I stare at the thick file at hand.

“Your father has taught you some of his skills, correct?” Mr Warren grins, and I nod my head once, smiling at him. “Yes.”

Dad has taught me some fighting skills and a little bit of hacking. And damn, that shit is hard as fuck, let me tell you.

“Your father will teach you more of his skills. All of the skills he knows like how to use a gun, use our equipment, act naturally, sneak into high-security places, and many more.” Mr Warren smiles.

Cool!

The smile disappears from Mr Warren’s face, and my heart leaps in my chest. Oh, oh, this is not good.

"Unfortunately, you have to undercover as a girl with braces and glasses who’s a straight-A student in this case.”

What?! A nerdy girl?! Did I just got shitted by a bird on my freaking face? I feel so unlucky right now. I don’t want to be a nerdy girl. I don’t think I can act like one. Who knows, I’m going to be able to do that after my training with dad. But still.

“What?! But Why?!” I frown, and it only brings out laughter from Mr Warren. Nothing is funny here. At all.

“I’m kidding, Sophie.” Mr Warren smiles. “But in this case, you still have to wear glasses because apparently, Matthew likes girls with glasses.”

Uhm, okay? How does Mr Warren know about that? That’s so freaking creepy. Well, it’s probably from how the agency watches and stalks Matthew and his family most of the time. But still, that kind of thing is personal. It’s a hard thing to know just from watching from afar.

Why does Matthew get attracted to girls with glasses, anyway? Don’t boys like him, looking from his appearance, attracted towards girls that look straight out of the magazines or the slutty who looks fake as fuck? Oh, right. You can’t judge a book by its cover.

“Yes, I’m serious about that. All of Matthew’s ex-girlfriends use eyeglasses.”

“How many exes he has?”

If Matthew has many exes, it’s going to be difficult for me to compete with them. His exes would probably have a club named ‘Matthew’s exes club’, and their only mission is to scare any girl away from Matthew. And if the girl ended up being with Matthew, she’ll probably join the club one day, eventually. Although they’re just another school’s nerds, you can’t underestimate them because they have a freaking genius mind. Who knows if they knew how to make a bomb out of the stuff in the kitchen.

It’s better to get heads up rather than being in the dark.

“Five.”

“Oh, okay.” I nod.

After another few minutes of discussion, we finally come to the end of it. Mr Warren stands to his feet, Dad and I follow suit.

“Okay, Sophie. I’ll leave this file with you. Good luck with the training.”

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