Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

The helicopter blades gradually slowed as it hit the landing pad. I held onto the overhead handle, my door opening. Standing on the landing pad, hands shoved deep in his pockets, was Barnaby Cross. Standing by his side, arms crossed over his massive chest, was Garret. He watched me as I climbed down from the helicopter, thanking the pilot and co-pilot.

"Hello, Ember. Glad you could make it so swiftly." Barnaby said, holding out his hand to me.

Despite my hatred towards him, I shook it firmly. He smiled at me. A smile I didn't return. I feigned exhaustion for an excuse. He didn't look offended either way.

"How the hell did you get that letter to me? I know it was a hoax to get me back here to Langley."

Barnaby didn't seem surprised. He smirked. Garret watched me silently, lost in deep thought.

"My dear, we have people everywhere. Both domestic and abroad. Surely Jonathan told you that?"

I shook my head. No, he hadn't told me about that. Naturally, I knew we had agents abroad but I never thought they'd actually have agents domestically stationed (unlike myself, of course, but that's different.) Isn't that the FBI's job? I guess I don't know as much as I thought about the place I work. Garret, Barnaby, and I went through a doorway and down a set of stairs that led to a hallway in the headquarters. Despite it being early morning, there were still people working on stuff with laptops and papers scattered across desks or tables, among empty Styrofoam coffee cups. My kitten heels clicked along the polished floors.

"So, why exactly was I summoned back?"

Barnaby sighed, turning down another hall. Garret still looked lost in thought, dark bags under his eyes. He probably hasn't slept all night. I followed Barnaby, remaining closer to the man who raised me, trusting him far more than my new bastard of a boss. Who is also Garret's new boss. And Addy's.

"You're needed at the White House again. Don't worry, we'll handle everything with the university. Earlier this week, the McGallens have been receiving anonymous threats from an almost untraceable source. Seeing as you know them best, it was a quick decision to pull you back into the assignment. Until the threats reside and everything settled on Capitol Hill, you will remain with them. Then you may return to university."

What?! That's ridiculous! I don't even get to go to the college I applied for! I understand the McGallen's need protecting, but there's about a hundred other agents he could have picked! No, more than that. There's over two hundred agents for him to choose from, both in and out of Project N. We turned down another hallway and were somehow in the main lobby. The silver and black agency seal on the ground sat proudly.

"Wait, so I'm practically going to miss a whole year of school?! No disrespect, but I hope you know that I am paying for my tuition, not the agency."

Barnaby nodded calmly, stopping right over the agency seal. The lobby was not packed at all. Only security guards and the occasional passing colleague of mine could be seen.

"We are aware of that, Ember. Like I said, we will take care of it. Now, your father has agreed to drive you to DC. Stick to the mission. Mr. Joshua McGallen has returned as well. Don't let your relationship with him screw this up. Goodnight, Miss Rhinehart, Mr. Thompson."

And Barnaby left. I was about to follow him and protest, but Garret grabbed my arm and shook his head. Sighing, I pulled my arm from his grip and pouted as we exited the building and into the parking lot. Garret pulled out his car keys.

"This isn't fair! All I ask for is a year of college! I even put down a leave of absence for my time."

Garret wrapped his arm around me, squeezing my shoulder. I hugged my dad back. We found his car next to a weathered Toyota sedan. Unlocking the doors, we climbed in. He waited until we had started driving away to talk.

"I know it may seem that way now, Ember, but the McGallens need you. Remember, your occupation comes before education. You've been educated by some of the best tutors in the world. You'll be fine."

Garret sounded tired and not in the mood to argue. I looked out the window, watching the passing Virginia scenery as he drove me to DC. I pouted the whole way like a five year old who didn't get a toy she wanted.



(Sorry if this sucks! It's kinda late where I live and I'm REALLY tired. Bye-bye for the night! Remember, vote and comment! Thanks!)

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