|Not Your Normal Vacation
Author: Peace.Paramore.PIE PM
Isabelle expected an average vacation with her family. Instead, she got swept up into a secret operation headed by a fourteen-year-old genius. Her family suspects nothing, but Isabelle's newfound friends could change everything she thinks she knows.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 6 - Words: 14,628 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 04-16-12 - Published: 01-07-12 - id: 2986352
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Aw, Mom," the girl groaned, "Do we have to go on a trip this summer? I'd been going to go to Lili's house, and the beach, and-"
"Isabelle, this is important," her mother interrupted. "We hardly ever go on a trip, so this summer your father and I thought that we would take a trip. We're starting tomorrow, I told you a week ago. Now go get packing."
"He's not my father!" Isabelle snapped. "He's only my step-father! And you're just going because Brian wants to go! You've always loved him best! I don't even know where we're going!"
"Isabelle! Don't talk back to me like that!" her mother ordered. "Go up to your room and pack. You don't know where we're going because your father and I wanted to surprise you."
"Yes, Mom," she muttered, stomping up the stairs.-_*_-
"Are we there yet?"
"No, Brian, we're stopping for a while in Denver," Mrs. Hawthorne explained. "Your father and I spent our honeymoon here, and we thought we'd stay here for a bit."
"Okay!" Brian chirped. Isabelle sighed and stared out the window as the car stopped at a red light, looking at the people as they passed. Fat lady, skinny girl- ooh! Cute boy! Tall man, running boy- he looks desperate. And dirty. The redheaded boy in question stopped for a moment and stared back at Isabelle, his hair slicked back with sweat and his chest heaving from his sprint. The two locked eyes for a moment, then the boy was off again, weaving between people. Isabelle watched him go, a little bit curious.
"Isabelle! Did you hear me?" Mr. Hawthorne snapped.
"We're staying at a hotel for a while. We'll be there in a few minutes."
Isabelle stood at the window of the hotel room, amazingly bored. It had been a week since the family had arrived in Denver, and they showed no signs of leaving. She'd been seeing some awfully familiar people, though. The skinny redheaded boy -usually running-, a boy with spiked-up brown hair, and an Asian girl with choppy hair who kept staring at her. "Mom!"
"I'm gonna go for a walk, okay?"
"Okay, just be back before it gets dark," her mom agreed. Great, Isabelle thought, I've got about three hours, maybe two and a half. She sprinted out of the hotel at a speed which was likely frowned upon by her parents and dashed onto the street. She set off north, remembering the shop she'd seen a couple days before. Stopping at a street corner, she was shocked to notice the redheaded boy, the boy with the spiked hair, and the Asian girl gathered together across the street. They were huddled together and seemed to be discussing something. Isabelle suddenly changed her destination and dashed across the street, dodging traffic. The group split, one boy heading one way and the girl heading the other, leaving the redheaded boy standing on the sidewalk, watching her approach.
"Um…hi?" Isabelle offered.
"What are you doing here? It's dangerous!" the boy hissed.
"You shouldn't be here! Sky, you should know by now. We can't all be in the same area! You're going to have to talk to Katherine about this. She's not going to be happy," he ranted, grabbing Isabelle's arm firmly and pulling her into a side street.
"What's going on?" Isabelle asked, confused.
"You know very well what's going on!" the boy snapped, almost shouting. "Come on, follow me. I'm not dragging you the whole way back when you know how to get there." The boy suddenly released her arm and turned to face her, blue-green eyes burning about six inches from her own. "Don't. Get. Lost," he said in a dangerous tone, then whirled and sprinted down the street. For a moment, Isabelle stared after him, wondering what to do. Then, her curiosity won out and she followed.
The boy was faster than she had expected. Isabelle had a hard time keeping him in sight as he ducked through crowds, making sudden turns that she didn't see coming. Finally, out of breath, Isabelle saw the boy make a turn into a doorway and enter, slamming it behind him. She tentatively opened the door and stepped inside. The boy was facing away from her, talking on a cell phone. "Yep. Sky was acting strangely. You'd better come check it out. Tell the rest of the guys, would you, Tori? Okay. Good. See ya." The boy hung up and turned to face Isabelle.
"Um…I'm-" she started, but the boy cut her off.
"What do you think you were doing! You know what you're supposed to do, where you're supposed to be, and you still manage to mess it up! This is unlike you, Sky. What's gotten into you?" The boy was pacing floor in front of her, getting closer with each turn. He would have continued ranting, but the door slammed twice in succession and he looked up to see who it was. The boy with spiked hair and a boy with honey-blonde hair smiled at the boy, who sighed in relief.
"What's up?" One of the boys asked.
"It's Sky." The boy pointed to Isabelle. "She came during the middle of our operation, right at the crucial point. You were there, Matthew." The boy with spiked hair nodded grimly.
"But-" Isabelle started, but was cut off as two girls and another boy entered.
"Are we all here, then?" Matthew asked. The redheaded boy nodded.
"Then how come there's seven of us here?" The Asian girl Isabelle had seen earlier asked. The redheaded boy's face paled and he quickly counted.
"Wait- that's impossible. There's me, Matthew, Shawn, Tori, Sky, Jay, and- wait a second. There's Sky here," he pointed to a blonde girl standing by the door, "But she's here, too." He pointed to Isabelle. "One of them's an imposter!" The boy tensed.
"I'm Sky," the blonde girl snapped, yanking at her ponytail. "And I was doing exactly what Katherine told me. I was down by-"
"Don't!" Matthew snapped. "You can't afford to give anything away!"
"That means that she's the imposter!" the redhead yelled, before quickly grabbing Isabelle's arms and twisting them behind her back. The other five sprang into action, and within two minutes, Isabelle was tied to a chair despite her struggles to get away.
"What are you doing here?" The redheaded boy snapped. "You shouldn't be here! Did you follow us? Are you trying to infiltrate us?"
"Um…" Isabelle started. "What's even going on here?"
"You answer my questions right and maybe we'll decide to answer yours." The boy had pulled a chair in front of Isabelle's and was staring at her with piercing eyes, scanning her face intently. She found it a bit unnerving. "Now, what are you doing here?"
"I- I saw you a couple times this week, and I wanted to know what you were doing," she stammered. "I came over to say hi, and you grabbed my arm and told me to follow you. I was curious, so I followed you and ended up here."
"Alright. Why are you in Denver?"
"My family's on vacation."
"What's your name?"
"Where are you staying?"
"The hotel on First Avenue. I can't remember its name."
"Who are your parents?"
"John and Elizabeth Hawthorne."
"John Hawthorne, the business tycoon?"
"When are you expected back?"
"Before it gets dark."
"Matthew!" the boy called.
"Is she lying?"
"I don't think so. She seems to be telling us the truth."
"Good." The boy sighed in relief. "You're in the clear." Jerking his arms up suddenly, he then tipped then downwards and caught the knives as they slid into his hands. In a quick movement, he cut the ropes holding Isabelle. "Now, you have two choices," he explained, pacing again. "You can go back and pretend you never saw us. If you do that, you have to swear on your life that you will never breathe a word of this to anyone or we will track you down."
"What's the other option?" Isabelle asked curiously.
"You stick around for a while. Help us out. Again, if a word about this slips out, we will find you. And trust me, in our business, we can't afford any mistakes." Isabelle considered her options. She could go back to her boring life, or she could have a bit of adventure when her parents weren't around.
"I'll help," she decided. The redhead looked at his cell phone.
"You hear that, Katherine?" he asked. The phone crackled for a moment, then a thin, cold voice spoke.
"I heard the whole thing. She's clear. We're still safe." The girl hung up abruptly.
"Okay, you're good. If Katherine approves, we're safe." All occupants of the room heaved a sigh of relief.
"So…who are you guys?" Isabelle asked.
"I'm Jesse," the redheaded boy said. "I don't use a last name, so it's just Jesse. The blonde girl who looks kind of like you is Sky Erickson. The kid with the spiky hair is Matthew Estran. The guy with the blond hair is Shawn Hendricks." Shawn smirked. "The tall skinny guy with black hair is Jay Delsan." Jay grinned, showing his canines. Isabelle was reminded of a wolf. Jesse continued, "The girl way in the back, wearing black, is Tori Linh. Upstairs," he pointed to a shadowy staircase that looked like it might collapse, "is Katherine Greenstan."
"Okay," Isabelle said nervously, looking around. They looked very different, but there were a few similarities. All were teenagers, all were grimy, and most of them had a hunted look about them.
"A new member, then?" Tori asked.
"Sort of," Jesse replied. "She'll help out until her family leaves the city. After that, we can forget about her."
"What do you guys do?" Isabelle asked.
"Hold on a second, Jesse," Jay spoke up. "Can she see the-" he paused for a moment, considering his words choice, "the things?"
"I don't know," Jesse muttered, glaring at Isabelle. "That's what we're trying to find out. Who wants to explain to her?"
"Shouldn't you?" a boy asked. Isabelle thought his name was Shawn.
"Shawn, what happened when I tried to explain to you?" Jesse asked.
"Right. Katherine could explain," Shawn suggested.
Jesse snorted. "Do you think she really would?"
Shawn sighed. "Of course not."
"I'll do it!" Jay volunteered.
"Okay," Jesse said. "Sky, Shawn, go grab some more supplies. We're low on fruit and bread again." The pair nodded and left. "Matthew, Tori, you guys are out on patrol this time."
"Oh, joy," Matthew muttered. Tori grinned evilly.
Jesse continued, "If anybody needs me, I'll be on the roof." He turned and stalked out of the room, leaving Jay and Isabelle.
"He grows on you," Jay grinned. Isabelle instantly liked his grin. It was the kind of open grin that you instinctively trusted. "Plus, he's the best-" he stopped himself. "Sit back and get comfortable," he instructed. "This could take some time."