Chapter One: Spies Do What Spies Do Best
From my hiding spot behind the dumpster, there was no way I could hear everything going on at the far end of the alleyway. The other problem was that I couldn’t see. Come on, Waylan, I thought to myself, closing my eyes for a second before narrowing them at the trash can I was now facing. Focus. You can’t let them catch you spying. Who knows what they’d do to you… I closed my eyes, making every muscle in my eyelids and face relax. I felt my eyes roll back in my head as my ears narrowed in, cancelling out the static, unimportant noises. Years of practice did make perfect.
“Her powers…not developed…She’s uncontrollable. I…you…control your people…efficiently.”
I breathed in slowly and I felt myself focus more on their words. I couldn’t afford to miss anything. I’d gone this far…I couldn’t fail.
“I have my men on it. We don’t need assistance from the Guard.”
“Handle it, Sethar, and everything will be fine.”
“Are you threatening me, Augustus?” Sethar’s voice got dangerously low and I had to concentrate even harder to be able to hear.
Augustus? Augustus Lee was the captain of the Guard, just like Sethar was the captain of the Spies. There was a captain for everything amongst the Dreamcatchers. We had units of people with special jobs. Everyone had a place in the grand mission of the Dreamcatchers.
“Take it as you interpret it. You have two weeks. Two weeks before I send my men in.” Augustus’s footsteps disappeared around the corner.
Controlling my breathing and trying to listen so intently was difficult but I was used to sneaking around like this—it was the only way I could find anything out.
When I heard Sethar’s footsteps follow a few moments after, I slowly brought my hearing range back to one that was more comfortable and opened my eyes. The girl, I thought. Who is she? What are they hiding? I stepped out of my crouch, wincing as my muscles extended. I stretched briefly before walking lightly to the chain-link fence that I had hopped in order to get in. I hooked my boot into one of the links and hoisted myself up and over, making sure not to get caught on the barbs at the top. Landing on my feet at the other side, I ran right into Sethar, his eyes clouded with anger.
“Waylan.” Sethar’s voice was deadly quiet. “What are you doing here?” I straightened to look at my father. When he was angry, he didn’t yell and rant. You could see it in his eyes though. They pierced through you and made you feel his anger.
“Sir, I was gathering information for my next project, sir,” I replied as swiftly as I could. Weakness wasn’t welcomed when it came to my father.
“Do not lie to me, son. I would think that I raised you better than that.” He looked down at me, his silver eyes catching the street light. Anger spiked in my chest and I stood tall under his reprimanding stance, eyes darkening. No way was I backing down now—
“I was requiring intel, Father,” I said slowly, gritting my teeth. My tone matched his as my glare hardened to ice. “And you never raised me. Mom did.” Before I could chicken out, I walked past him, curving my shoulder as to not bump into him. I rounded the corner of the building, blending in with the hustle and bustle of a Saturday evening in downtown New York, letting the night air calm me. The brisk wind threw my hair into my face before I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt up and over my head.
Making my way to the closest bus stop, I hopped on. Lucky for me, the bus was just pulling away and there were few people actually on it. When the bus chugged past the space where the alley was hidden, I thought I saw a glimpse of my father and the small white blink of a portal opening and disappearing with its occupant, but I couldn’t be sure. It could’ve been in my head.
When I was a child, my father was never around. It was as if I didn’t even have one. A father, that is. He didn’t want to know me until I was old enough and educated enough to talk to him and work for him.
The irony was that when I was a child, he treated me like an adult.
Now, I was eighteen, and he treated me like a child.