Word Count: 1,778 words
The morning sun streamed in through the windows, lighting up a bed in the middle of the room, revealing a small, stirring body.
"Alex," called his housekeeper, Jack. "Wake up. You don't want to be late now, do you?"
Alex slowly wakened to reality, looking around with blurry eyes until he caught sight of Jack's lean, figure leaning over him. Ever since Alex had come back from the Snakehead mission, Jack had acted more like a mother, waking him up for his appointments, attending to his injuries and taking care of him in a way that he hadn't expected. The fact that his own godfather had pulled the trigger on the bomb that had killed his parents still played around his mind, being brought forward when he was alone. But, it didn't take long for homework and other activities to kick in and he soon found himself immersed in the daily life of a normal school boy.
Being a 15 year old spy was hard, but going to school pretending that he wasn't one was harder. His GCSE's were drawing closer and all that Alex worried about was his exams. At the present time, Alex didn't care for the assassins and agents that were out for his blood. All he wanted was to come up with a thought-provoking, insightful creative writing piece on modernism. If only it was as easy as taking down a wannabe mass murderer.
He got off the bed, brushed his teeth like a dead man, and went down for breakfast. Alex was almost getting used to a normal day – getting ready in the morning, hanging around with Jack, checking out girls on the street. Unfortunately, he knew it wasn't going to be long before he had to face Blunt and Jones.
The beep of his watch interrupted his recurring train of thought as it reminded him of his plight to attend school on time for once. Alex shoveled his food into his mouth and ran out the door, throwing a hasty 'bye' over his shoulder. It wasn't a pleasant experience to go to school now that he was treated as the local drug dealer but he knew that it was necessary and that they would soon grow out of it.
He chained his bike and attempted to race up to his homeroom as fast as he could. If everything had gone his way, he would have been able to get away from Dirk Creswell and his cronies, but when had anything gone his way?
A cruel laugh alerted him of Dirk Creswell's presence and he was suddenly jolted by a resemblance to Sayle. Knowing that only trouble would come out of a collision, Alex continued walking.
"Well, well, well look who it is? Rider? Running away? Late for a meeting with a dealer or just craving for a smoke?" sneered Dirk Creswell, strutting past Alex to stand directly in front of him.
Alex didn't answer.
"I asked you a question, Rider, and you better answer it," Dirk said, his mouth curling into an angry smirk.
The corner of Alex's mouth lifted slightly as he imagined exactly how he would answer an insult. Sometimes, it was so frustrating yet satisfying to know that he could take down Dirk in less than a blow. It was like watching the Saturday show, Merlin. That sense of frustration of being unable to tell everyone of his achievements but the satisfaction of knowing what he was capable of.
"Maybe if you'd ask one question at a time I could answer them all. I wouldn't want you to damage yourself trying to process all those answers at once, now would I?" asked Alex, unable to resist the temptation.
Dirk spluttered for a moment, before his eyebrows connected and an ugly look came across his face. He started forward towards Alex, fists clenched at his side. From where Alex was standing, his trained eyes could see the light veins along the side of his neck and underarms, pressure points that could incapacitate Dirk in seconds.
"You think you're so tough because you got your gang to back you, but some day you won't; you'll back down so easily."
Alex looked around himself in a fake quizzical look, his eyes searching comically as if looking for a specific person within the small crowd of Dirk's back up.
"I don't see anyone here. If you do, I guess you should check out your eyes as well as that pea sized thing you called a brain. If anything, I'd say you were scared."
A low growl escape Dirk's lips and Alex knew he had gone a little too far into the fighting territory. Knowing it wouldn't be good to get involved in a fight so quickly after getting back to school, he backed away, feigning a nervous look. In the time, he had spent in his missions, he had learnt one or two acting tips along with the classes that he had been sent to by Ian. Start fidgeting, look around distractedly, brush hair with hands, and fiddle with clothes.
As if on cue, he heard a yelled greeting. Tom had always had the best timing and this wasn't any different. Swiftly brushing past the crowd of classmates, he headed towards the short, black haired boy, a hand raised in greeting.
"Hey, mate," he replied, "How was Jerry's?"
"A great change. It was good to avoid having a dish accidentally thrown at you for more than a month. A true relief, I tell you. When'd you get back? It's been ages. Got caught up in financial problems?" asked Tom, lowering his voice to obviously hint at something.
"Yeah, had to visit the bank a couple of times. They wouldn't let me pay for my bills until I met someone and I felt like I really should so I did. The bank crashed though, it was a disaster."
"You should tell me all about it. Later. It's great your back though. We got a football match coming up and we have to win it so we really need you back on the team," said Tom, with a smile.
So, you're still here. I hoped you hadn't gone to Blunt because, well, I'd miss you and… we got a football match coming up; we have to win it so we need you," said Tom with a smile.
Alex shook his head and returned the smile. Tom always had this endearing quality, an ability to go from MI6 to normal within a few moments. It was one of the reasons that he was his best friend and will always be.
A shrill, piercing bell sounded throughout the school, signaling the start of school. The rush of students began almost immediately as the juniors ran to get to their classes and the seniors dawdled along.
Alex's first subject was Mathematics. It was a subject that everyone dreaded, not because they hated algebra or geometry but because of Mr. Derek. Mr. Derek paled in comparison to the assassins that Alex had met with but he was still downright awful to students especially if they lacked punctuality. Knowing that he would find any reason to single out Alex, Alex hastened his steps to reach the back seat of the class, where no one could stare at him. It was easy to blend into the background when there was such a seat as the one he sat in.
Mr. Derek entered the class room and his reputation caused the chatter to die down almost immediately. His eyes scanned the class for anyone out of place students before speaking in his low voice. Alex had once wondered whether he did it to appear intimidating and often imagined the high pitched voice that the teacher would have.
"The GCSE's are drawing closer and I expect all of you to be well prepared when you sit them. I expect the highest standard and effort. Do you understand me?" he demanded.
A few of the students called out with an affirmative, a habit born out of experience. Others, namely those in the first few rows, shrunk back into their seats, heads bowed in a mix of guilt and fear. Alex was hit with a reminder of the sergeant that he had to deal with when he had gone to Brecon Beacons. He almost let out a laugh as he imagined his suited, properly dressed teacher, in the muddy clothes of a sergeant and quickly dispelled the image to maintain a straight face.
Unfortunately, despite his skills, he wasn't lucky enough to avoid victimization by the teacher. His imagination had sucked up the precious moments that had taken the teacher to write up the maths questions.
"You - answer this question," he ordered, pointing directly at Alex.
Having been on missions for most of last year, he had no idea what the answer was so he remained silent. He had found from the last couple of days that it was best to stay quiet when he didn't know the answer. If you talked back, they would tell you off. If you told them the wrong answer, they dwelled on his unintelligence. If you said you didn't know, they give you dirties for the rest of the lesson. It was a well-known fact.
"Well, you do know this question, don't you?" probed the teacher.
Alex merely shrugged.
The teacher seemed to get angrier by the second at Alex's unresponsive look and was about to yell out when the loud speaker in the corner of the classroom blared to life.
"All students and teachers are to make their way to the assembly hall immediately. Urgent! All students and teachers to the hall. Thank you."
Alex was both curious and relieved. He was curious because he had never heard this kind of announcement when he'd been at school, and he was relieved because he was saved from a very irate teacher.
"Dismissed," the teacher called. Everyone including the teacher hurried out the door and to the hall. It seemed to be some sort of fire drill or lockdown. No one every used the loudspeaker except to announce a drill of some sort.
This must be one hell of an important meeting, Alex thought.
Following Tom and his classmates to the filled assembly hall, he ran through all the reasons for which a meeting of such importance could occur at a school. None of the options were great. A death, a funeral or an attack.
The sight that greeted him when he was able to see the full view of the assembly almost made his jaw drop.
Blunt and Jones were at his school.