Chapter 2

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Dancers? Thieves? This has to be a joke. I knew something was wrong the moment I

received a message from the Colonel telling me to meet him. I had never met him but I would've never imagined a tall lean blonde woman coming out of the shadows. Where was the colonel? This woman is probably his assistant. The thought alone that I might not meet the colonel puts me at ease for some odd reason. I didn't get it. I scan her from top to bottom. Three knives only, she has no chance against all of us. If I take a lucky guess, she has two second generation knifes and one new seventh generation.

But is there really an us? I know Kala is with me but what about Jeremie and Spencer? Serene's allegiance is already certain. She will always stand against me and never beside me.

I look around. One door and four windows. One is already open and ready for someone to just jump from it.

"The colonel, where is he?" Jeremie straightens and reaches from what I can tell a sixteen-xc silver dagger. Good choice. Pointy and it cuts through flesh without a problem.

"She is the colonel." I try and keep my annoyance in check.

Kala chuckles. Spencer looks indifferent as usual. Jeremie looks so surprised I want to burst out laughing.

"Nice to meet you Colonel Bruce."Serene and Kala nod their heads in greeting. Colonel Bruce. Obviously. It was easy to tell.

First the calligraphy of the letter. There is no way in hell a man could write as gracefully as a girl. Secondly, and the most obvious clue was the perfume of lavender mixed with cinnamon. Basically a woman. And the only person beside me who seems to have put it together is Serene. Or maybe she just isn't taking her mask off and showing her surprise.

"Enough of the surprised look, Mr. Clements." The colonel keeps walking, watching our every move.

"What dance?"Let's get down to business. No more distractions.

"Let's sit, shall we?" She avoids my question. Or maybe she is just ignoring me.

When we are all seated, I can't help but look at Serene. I refrained from doing it from the moment I stepped into the room but I still keep looking. She looks so calm sitting in her chair, the glow of the moon reflecting on her skin. I know she is just calculating. She always calculates. That's something else I love about her.

"How did you know who was behind the Masquerade?" Kala questions.

"It's simple really." The colonel brushes her long golden locks behind her shoulder."I needed the best for the Union. So I got the best for the Union. It took me a very long time to track all of you and you can't imagine my happiness when I found out that all of you were free. So I recruited you all one by one for the cause. Some were easy to convince, even desperate. But others like yourself Mr. Moreno or Miss Medina were more stubborn." I then glance at Miss Medina with an accomplice smile that she doesn't return.

"Get to the point, Colonel." Serene retorts instead.

"Please call me Bruce. Like I was saying when I recruited you all, I assigned all of you to different posts just like I saw fit. But now I need you all to work together."

"To do what?" Spencer's first words since we entered the room. Not that he said to me much when we bumped into each other in the halls.

"Steal." I realize I am not the only one to say so. Why can't she just stop thinking like me?

"Look at you guys, you already think together." She gestures to me and Serene."So I guess that's settled, I need you to steal something for me. For the cause. The Union needs the Masquerade." She stops and just looks at our reaction but little does she know a perk of wearing a mask is that we know how to hide our real reaction. Even if sometimes it slips like Jeremie showed us.

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