I would say the fire saved us. The students were gone now. I cautiously went into the dressing room behind the stage and found nobody there but the door was wide open. That was close. I went back to the auditorium. “I’m going to see what’s going on out there.” I told Anna and Naomi. After what happened I can’t sit still. I need to do something, something useful. “I will wait here for the agents.” Anna volunteered. “I have to keep an eye on James until they arrive. I should get going. Call immediately if anything goes wrong.” Naomi peered out of the door before dashing out. I followed her out but went to the opposite direction. I ran to the main hall. Students were running out of the building in hurry. The whole place was a chaos. In a way it is a good thing because the agents could easily walk in and take away Tyra and the gang unnoticed. I looked around for some sign of fire but I saw none. Maybe the fire is at the top of one of the buildings.
I started to move away from the crowd but I caught a glimpse of familiar face. I scanned through the crowd quickly and I found him, Joe. For the past three days I never seen him in this college, even the girls told me he barely attends the classes. What is he doing here now? He ran to the staircase in rush. I could easily tail him because he was the only one running in the opposite direction. Everyone else trying to get out of the building but he’s going in. I had to struggle in between the crowd to follow him upstairs. He moved very fast and his gaze always watching his surroundings. I had to stay a few feet away from him and get into group whenever he glances back. Obviously he’s worried someone might be following him. I grew more intrigued with his bizarre behavior. I had to slow down when we reached the top floor because the whole place is abandoned. Probably both of us are the only ones up here. I almost forgot about the fire. I looked around as I followed him for fire. There’s no fire or smoke. We are now in the administration floor. He walked in casually without any fear or doubts. He entered the principal’s room. I waited a few seconds and then went into the next room. It was the meeting room. I stood close to the door. I kept it open, wide enough for me to watch the next door. I heard no noise from the next room. I wondered what he could be doing in there. After two minutes, he walked out with some files in his hand. I watched him as he walked across the hallway and down the stairs. After making sure he went away, I walked into the principal room. I looked at each corner of the room for any hidden camera. There was none visible. The room looked fine no any signs of ransacking but that’s not true. I have learnt in my Espionage class ways to look for signs. I went to the computer and move the mouse, the screen came alive. I went to the history and found the recent log in. It was the email account of the principal. I tried to sign in and the account was locked. How did he get in?
I noticed a few files in the file holders on top of the book rack were placed disproportionately and some of the drawers of the cupboards were not closed tightly. He must have looked for something. I took out a few random files and found nothing that would interest me. He must have taken whatever that was important. Before I walked out the room, I stopped at the huge cupboard with many labels on each section. Now that I’m here, I wanted to check on the two missing girls’ details. I opened the one with students’ details and I looked for the two missing girls’ files according to the alphabet but strangely there were not there. There were a few drawers without any label on it. I opened each of them and looked through it. The last drawer was locked. I tried the bump key but it was too big for a drawer lock. I had to try the old fashion way, I used the slim and long hair pin to unlock it like a professional burglar. I had practiced this in Miss Raina’s class, never thought this would come in handy. There was a bulky file in it. I took it out found the two missing girls profile in it, together with police statements. There were several other files of random girls as well. I knew I was in here for too long. I wished I had brought along my spycell or the scanner pen to scan these documents. I has to sneak these out to my room. The whole building was still empty when I rushed to my room through the emergency staircase and scanned the whole file using the pen scanner. The alarm stopped when I reached my room. I got to return this before the principal get suspicious. I run upstairs and found a few firemen talking to the office staff. Some of the lecturers were rushing in and out. I casually walked into the pathway and slip into the principal office when nobody was watching. The room was empty. I put the file into the drawer and walked out.
I dialed Ivy as I ran out of the place and informed her about the documents. She agreed to look through it later. There was no sign of Joe anywhere in the college compound. I called Anna and she told me the agents took care of everything. Apparently one of the agents was Ray. They took Tyra and the two others with them to the Agency. Anna went back to her coffee shop. I nodded and went to look for Rachel and Mia. I found them at the car park. “Are you okay?” they asked me when they spotted me. “I’m fine.” I told them. “Did you see the fire?” Rachel inquired me. I shook my head. “I didn’t. I’m not sure where the fire was.” I told them the truth. They frowned at each other. “This is strange. We asked many and all of them were saying the same thing.” Mia said to us. “Maybe this was just a prank.” Rachel lighted up suddenly. “This is cool. I wonder who pull this off.” Mia agreed with Rachel and both of them started to list down the possible students. I tuned out their conversation. I was still thinking about Joe and a thought came to me. What if it was him? Maybe he caused the alarm rang to distract everyone so that he could do what he did just now. I rang Ivy once again as soon as I stepped into my room. Earlier I asked her to look into the background of the head of this college and now I need her favor about Joe. “Can you look for the place he’s staying right now?”
That night I received his address. It was not far from the college. I decided to pay a visit to his place tomorrow morning so I informed the others about my plan. Ivy didn’t like the idea of me going alone again so she decided to come along. I took out the aid kit from my bag and bandaged both my wrists. The cut was deep and I had to wince every time the wound brushes my clothes or something else. I barely slept that night. So many things were going on in my head. The fact that I got caught and a gun to my head for the first time in my life are not something I could stop thinking about.
Both of us left to his apartment early in the morning. Ivy looked restless with black rings around her eyes. “You look bad.” I told her. Both of us took a rental car to his place. “I know but I have no choice. At least I’m not hurt.” She pointed at my hands. I smiled at her, “I got caught yesterday.” I told her. I felt very ashamed and disappointed. I never thought I will be an easy target. “It’s not your fault. They were watching us all this while.” Ivy assured me. “How about the documents I scanned? Anything interesting?” I inquired her. Ivy’s eyes brightened as she replied, “Yes, each of the girls went missing just like Stella and Marry Ann.” “The Agency must have noticed this.” I stated. “I’m not sure about that because each of the girls went missing almost six months to a year apart. There’s no any pattern for their disappearance and most of them has been reported to have gone missing far away from the college. Some was last seen at different location. I think whoever kidnapping these girls trying to not attract attention to the college. If all these files are not put in together I don’t think we would guess it’s related. Other than Stella and Mary Ann, the other girls missing reports was made by their parents and the college had given out report stating these girls has dropped out.” Ivy told me her analyzing on this matter. “If they have dropped out then why keep their files in a safe place. I think their disappearance is interrelated. If we can get to Stella and Mary Ann’s kidnapper we will know about these other girls too.” I said out my thoughts. “Why would the principal have these files?” Ivy questioned. I shrugged. “I did a background check on him. Nothing suspicious, but still I notify the Agency to investigate about the principal. No response so far.” Ivy informed me. Ivy had faxed all the documents and photographs we found at all three of their rooms to the Agency soon after the commotion, including the documents I found at the principal’s room.
We reached the place and both of us got down. We took the lift and went to the third floor. There was not much movement in that building. His door was locked so we assumed he’s in there. We stood at the end of the corridor, near the staircase and watched his door. It was easier to wait with Ivy. We discussed all the possibilities about our pictures. It was a mystery to all of us. Somebody knew about us coming here and had been following us these past few days. That person even told about us to Tyra and her friends. The more we talked about it, I remembered how Tyra was only holding me in that room but didn’t try to harm me. She even didn’t try to shoot me or Naomi when we attacked them. It looked like she was ordered to only capture us and nothing more or she wants us for something else. Whatever the reason is the Agency would soon find that out. I have learnt about the investigation method of the Agency. It’s very scary but effective in my opinion.
Almost an hour later, Joe stepped out of his room and left. He was in his tee and jeans. He went to the opposite way and went down. I started to move forward but Ivy stopped me, “What if there’s someone in there?” She asked me worriedly. I frowned at her, “But you said he’s alone earlier.” Before we came here, Ivy had checked on his movement and according to the surveillance camera in this flat and the one at the guards’ he was always alone. “I know but what if we’re wrong?” I looked at Ivy with no answer. “We have come this far, let’s just do this. Anything goes wrong, call for help.”I told her.
Ivy stayed out to keep watch while I broke in his apartment. I used the bump key specially designed by the Angels. It took me a few tries to unlock the door. We never got to practice this in the class but I did come across this breaking in methods in my first month at the Angels. I felt like a thief as I crept in. I knew I should have waited for longer hours or investigate further if there are others in his house but I strangely have the instinct that he’s staying alone here and I was right. The house was empty, no furniture at the living room. Only a few food cans and water bottles in the kitchen. There were two rooms. One of it was empty and the other locked. I tried to open the door using the key but I couldn’t. It’s not the door knob but something else keeping the door intact. “Found anything?” I heard Ivy’s voice in my ear. I was wearing the earpiece the Angels provided us. “The house is empty. Nothing suspicious but the room door is locked. The key and even the pin are useless. I don’t know how to unlock it. Should I just break in?” I looked at the door in frustration. “No, we are supposed to be discreet remember.” Ivy sounded stern on the other end. “Is there any devices like our doorbell thing attached?” Ivy suggested. “No. Wait.” I noticed the only painting frame hang on the wall not too far away from the door. I removed the frame and found a hole on the wall, filled with a device with keypads that require code number to unlock the door. “You’re right. We need code to unlock it. I don’t think I can dismantle it, it will alarm the owner.” I said while placing the frame back to its place. “What should we do now?” Ivy asked me. I can’t go back now, not after seeing the device. No normal person would have such high tech security system at home, especially to lock a room. There is something in there and I’m not leaving without finding out. “Is there other way to get into the room?” I questioned Ivy. “I think so but we need a new plan.” She replied.
There’s a huge mattress on the floor and a travelling bag in the room. Following my gut, I broke into the next door and managed to climb out of the window into this room. As dangerous as it may sound, thanks to Ms Raina’s classes I was able to do it. Of course I would be lying if I say that for a second I thought I was going to die falling off the small railing outside. I found a stack of papers and files under the mattress. The bag was full of clothes. Underneath it was a few gadgets I am too familiarized with, a few GPS bugs, a handgun, a knife with designed blade and a tablet. I took and put the documents, files and the tablet into my handbag. I purposely brought the big one in case I found something in here. I zipped the bag and made sure the whole place looked untouched before leaving it. Ivy and I left quickly. I look through the papers and it holds details about a few people. I only recognized the principal of the college, Mr. Russell. It holds his background details. He was connected with other people whose files are also here. He had been watching these people all this while but why?
I gave the whole materials to Ivy. She will make sure the Agency get them. I texted Rachel as soon as I reached college. I knew they would have notice the disappearance of Tyra and her boyfriend by now. I don’t want to get suspected so it is better I stay close to them. Maybe they will disclose something important about Tyra that may help my mission here.
We ended up shopping at the nearest mall in the city. Rachel and Mia assumed Tyra and her boyfriend might have gone away for awhile to have fun. It has happened before, according to them. I decided to go along with that. We came to this mall right after our classes ended. I am the girl who loves shopping especially shoes but for the first time today I had no heart to shop. I constantly have this weird instinct as though somebody is watching and following me around. I had to keep watching my back. Yesterday’s incident had left huge effect on me. It’s like paranoia and I don’t like to feel this way. We walked around for about two hours so the girls decided to have something to eat. I have no appetite so I decided to take a walk, all by myself. I told the girls that I wanted to look for a book at the bookshop we saw on our way here. The girls agreed to meet me there later. I left the mall in relief. I got to admit there is no way I will have fun with both of them. I can’t seem to enjoy myself with them, especially after finding out about their dearest friend’s true color.
I walked into an alley beside the mall. I was lost in my thoughts that I paid less attention to my surrounding. I was half way walking through the alley and only then I realized there’s guy sitting near to a garbage bin. He looks like some homeless guy until he stood up and smiled at me. I stopped few feet away from him. He walked towards me and took out a flip knife from his pocket. “Give me all you got, pretty girl and I will not hurt you.” He told me as he approaches me. My hand automatically grabbed my handbag. I have been carrying this bag wherever I go because of the stuff I have in it. There is no way I’m giving my spycell and a few gadgets to some mugger on the street. I even doubt it if the Angels will replace my spycell if I lose it. Maybe I should toss some cash and run away. I might have done that but he quickly caught my wrist when I shove it in my pocket. In reflex I stepped back and grabbed his hand with my left hand. I twisted it anticlockwise causing him to lower his upper body downwards. I kicked his stomach and he fell on the road. It happened so fast that he didn’t see it coming. I stood there, staring down at him. He picked himself up in hurry and ran away. I felt good. At least I can defend myself from muggers. I started to move forward but a voice stopped me.
“Now that’s not something we can watch every day.” The voice said. My heart started to beat fast because I recognized the voice. I was so startled that I took some time to compose my face before I turn around. He was leaning against the wall, watching me with a lazy smile. He was still wearing the same clothes I saw him in this morning. His hair was styled to look messy but yet there’s neatness to it. “Joe.” I greeted him. “You still remember my name.” He stood straight and started to walk towards me. I watched his movement cautiously. “Is that a surprise?” I asked him. “A little. I guessed girls like you forget the names of the guys they went out with on party night. He stood two feet away from me. I took an involuntary step back. I don’t think he’s here for nothing. I faked a laugh, “You got that wrong. I didn’t go out with you that night.” He smiled at that, “You remember well. I thought you got pretty drunk.” He’s obviously playing along with me. The tension between the two of us grew. I started to step away, “I remember some blurry moments. Okay I got to go.”
The second he registered the fact that I’m leaving, he moved fast and blocked my path. I tried to shove him away but he restrained me fast. I tried to fight him. As though he knew my steps he had no trouble to stop me. I ended up pinned against the wall. He held me tight and his body pressed against mine. Both of us were breathing heavily. Instead of feeling threaten, I was more focused on the fact that how close we are standing. I could smell him, the mixture of cypress and fresh citrus fragrance. He smells expensive. My eyes were perfectly in line with his lips. I remembered the other night when we were sitting too close to each other. I raised my chin and my eyes met his gaze. He looked directed into my eyes, trying to read me. “Who are you?” He questioned me. I remained quiet. I have no idea what to answer him. “I know it’s you. You took my things. What did you do with them?” He went on. His voice was both amused and angry. “You really think I’m going to answer that question?” I asked, challenging him. My voice was small. Clearly I’m intimidated by his closeness and his ferocious strength to hold me still against the wall. I have no way to escape. “Really?” He started with his annoyed voice but he was interrupted by two other voices, Rachel and Mia. “Oh my god!” Both of them squeal in their most girlish voice. “What are you guys doing out in the public?” Rachel asked us. Joe shifted but he positioned himself right next to me, his hand holding my left hand tight. I tried to pull free but it only cause pain. His gripped was too strong. “Well, Joe has some trouble in getting over me.” I told them, in sarcastic tone on purpose. Joe arched his eyebrow at me, I ignored him. “You said nothing is going on between you two?” Mia asked us, recalling our previous conversations. I raised our both hand forward to show the girls, “Apparently not.” I stated through my gritted teeth. I could see the change in their face. They were excited but they were also had the jealous look. I shifted my wrist and held his hand(entwined fingers). Joe was a little surprise at my small gesture and his grip loosened. Right that second I broke free and ran towards the girls. Joe was either too slow to react or he didn’t want to cause any scene in front of the girls.
“It’s not fair, Joe.” Rachel pouted at him. “You didn’t even give me a chance.” She was referring to something that happened in the past. I wondered if she made a move on him. He smiled at her sweetly, too sweet. The girls got all giddy at him. I wanted to run away but I had to drag this two with me. “Let’s go, girls. Joe was leaving anyway.” I started to drag both their arms forward. “Was I?” He asked me, his eyes were sharp on me. I flashed him a fake smile, “Yes, you was. See you later.” I called out without looking at him. All three of us walked away from him. “I bet you will.” He called out to me. I didn’t look back. He was unnerving.
My heart is still beating fast. He had been following me around all day, no wondered I felt as though someone was watching me. Again, I felt disappointed at myself. I was trained to disappear in the crowd. I should have known if someone was following me without my knowledge. It’s either I’m terrible at disguising or he’s really good. I noticed his movement and his ability to read mine. He’s fast and smart. He suspected me the second he met me. I remember his watchful eyes and the glint of dangerousness in them. Who is he?
My spycell buzzed in my handbag. I read the message the second I left the girls at the college. It’s from the Agency. We are all asked to go back to the Angels immediately. Our mission had been called off.