vii. cat & mouse

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The girl staring back at me in the mirror has light olive skin, rose lips, and messy brown hair from rolling out of bed only five minutes ago. Everything about the girl was fairly mundane—except for her eyes.

One resembled a light brown oak tree while the other was a stark green forest.

I inhale deeply as I study my reflection. The reason for the difference in eye color was heterochromia iridium, a genetic mutation. My hands fumble through the cabinet for a single brown colored contact to hide the asymmetrical feature.

It slips my mind when, exactly, I started to wear colored contacts. All I remember is why I chose brown over green.

My mother had brown eyes; my father died when I was young, and mom always described him with vivid, notable green eyes. My eyes were a juxtaposition of both of them. The mutation felt, as cheesy as it sounds, like a piece of him is always with me. Though the thought of him every time I saw my reflection would be too much to bear.

I splash some cold water on my face in order to wake myself up. A buzzed feeling reverberated around my head—the alcohol downed by yours truly last night was seriously starting to hit.

The alarm pinged 8:00 AM. I rubbed my temples, as if that could alleviate the growing headache. It was time for the last CIA test.

The others are already in the expansive living room by the time I leave my room. Promising sunlight shone directly into the entire penthouse, illuminating it, somehow making everything shine with more grandeur than it usually was.

This view is something I'll never get used to.

Skye, as pristine as always, propped herself against the black sofa. A perfectly photogenic waffle was in her hand. Chase too, sat down at the table munching on waffles.

Ace was in the kitchen adjacent to the living room. He whistled while turning the waffle maker periodically, which helped give waffles their golden brown glow.

I knew exactly what he was trying to do; the spy was trying to get under my skin, and it was working.

"Do you want a waffle, Cupcake?" Ace asks. There's a smug look on his face, the one I saw all too often.

"You're funny," I retort through narrowed eyes. The come-back was weak, but the pain of hangover and the early morning really dampened my sarcasm. I hesitate, feeling my weak self giving in to the delicious smell wafting into the room. "But yes, I want a waffle."

"Enjoy this one. It's not burnt."

"Shame, really. I was looking forward to starting my morning with a burnt, black crisp. That's what my soul feels like."

My tone is dry, reflecting my hangover. The waffle in my hand disappears into my mouth mere milliseconds before I can even comprehend the hunger stirring in my stomach.

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