The Spy

The invitation was a heavy, gilded cardstock, cheerfully reflecting the twinkling lights strung above the driveway as I strolled up to the door.

“Check, Donovan,” I mutter, barely moving my mouth, feigning an interest in the ornate architecture of the Gilded Age mansion before me.

“All clear, Scout,” the voice in my ear came through clearly, the minute microphone working perfectly. “Move to the left when you go inside.”

I sweep towards the entrance, handing my invitation to the butler with a radiant smile.

He appears unimpressed, but ushers me in nonetheless with a simple “Welcome to the DeVeau’s,” before turning to check the invitations of the couple coming up behind me.

I smile faintly to myself, always surprised with just how easy it was to infiltrate events such as this. As long as you wore the right clothing, and moved the right way, the rich were as ignorant as anyone else that you were a wolf amongst them.

Gliding through the doors, I allowed myself one sweeping glance at the entry way before moving purposefully to the left.

“About ten more paces, the middle door,” Donovan murmurs in my ear. I move through the crowd easily, nodding here and there, a faint smile plastered blandly on my face.

The door leads to a darkened hallway - one clearly not meant to be inhabited during this particular party. Its walls are lined with gaudy portraits, presumably of the DeVeau’s and their ancestors. The portraits eyes gave the impression of following me as I scurried past them.

“These portraits are creeping me out.”

“I know, right? Go around the corner, then it’ll be the third door on the left.”

I followed his instructions dutifully, easing the door open and slipping inside. It shut behind me with a soft thud.

I found myself in a terrarium, the moonlit courtyard visible through the glassed walls on the right hand side, lush foliage lining a narrow pathway through the room. The air was crisp in here, a lingering smell of sweet flowers and earth falling over the room.

“Do you see a path winding to the left? Follow that to a fountain.”

The room stretched further than I had envisioned, and I quickly lost sight of the door I had passed through. The humid air pressed heavily against my skin, muffling the minute sounds my movements made.

“Nearly…there. The drop is just under the fountain by the cherubs head; there should be a compartment hidden there.”

I dropped to my knees in front of the fountain, running my hands along its base, slick from the spray of the water above. I could be in and out within ten minutes if I could just-

“May I ask what you’re doing with my family’s fountain?”

I shut my eyes, frustrated with my own distraction. Slowly, I stood, resolving my face into a vapid smile before turning to face the intruder.

He looked as all wealthy men do - neat as a pin, elegantly dressed, hair swept back off his forehead. He stood with his hands clasped before him, looking utterly bored; but his eyes betrayed him, flashing with a cool, calculating intelligence.

“I was looking for the lady’s room, and entered in here by accident - but then I was far too enchanted with the beauty of it to leave immediately,” I say, with a breathy voice designed to charm and soothe. I even let out a titillating laugh to sell the dumb, helpless female act.

He doesn’t appear to buy it. “I believe the lady’s rooms were clearly marked off by the entrance.”

Another airy giggle. “I’m sure they must be, I truly can be so daft sometimes. I’ll take my leave, then.”

A broad hand wrapped around my bicep as I tried to nonchalantly stroll past him. Slowly, I turned to face him.

A faint smile played on his lips. “Do you know what I think?”

“No,” this came out quite a bit more blunt, efforts of convincing him I was a stupid, harmless broad out the window. I prayed he couldn’t hear Donovan muttering “shit, shit, shit” in my ear with his close proximity.

“I think,” one large hand reached out to push an errant curl behind my ear, “that you are exactly where you intended to be.”

The calloused pads of his thumbs brush against my cheek, his gentle touch at odds with the growing ice in his eyes.

“Guards closing in in the hallway; you’ve got maybe two minutes before you’re surrounded.” Donovan’s frantic typing could be heard in the background. I need to extricate myself - immediately.

The gentleman’s hand it still gently stroking my face until all of a sudden - he reaches out and plucks my ear piece out of my mess of curls. My mouth falls open as he examines the flesh colored, pea sized device. Slowly, he crushes it in his massive hand, then dumps it to the floor, grinding it in with his heel.

I can’t hear Donovan’s words but I can imagine the tizzy he’s in.

The man locks eyes with me, mouth quirking up to the side. “Much nicer now that it’s just the two of us, don’t you think, Agent Fern?”

I don’t let his knowledge of my code name ruffle me. My brow furrows delicately as I say, “this does complicate things you know.”

His one eyebrow arches elegantly. “Does it?”

I smile up at him, sweet as pie. “Now, I have to kill you.”

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